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Priesthood Keys

[759 - Improvement Era, Vol. 13:8, June 1910]

Priesthood Quorums' Table.

Who Holds the Keys of the Priesthood?--"We did not get the same understanding with reference to the keys of the priesthood in studying lesson 7 of the high priests' manual.  Some understand that the president of the Church alone holds the keys of the priesthood, while other brethren understand that while the president of the Church holds all the keys of the priesthood, still the quorum of apostles, first seven presidents of seventy, patriarchs, the presiding bishops, presidents of stakes, bishops of wards and presidents of quorums and others hold the keys under and through him, and perform and do all that is necessary to successfully accomplish what the Lord requires in these various subdivi[s]ons of his Church.  Which is correct?"

The power and authority of the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood is to hold the right of presidency, with power and authority over all the offices in the Church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.` The presidency of the high priesthood have a right to officiate in all the offices of the Church (Doc. and Cov. 107: 8, 9).


It is ordained that "three presiding high priests, chosen by the body, appointed and ordained to that office, and upheld by the confidence, faith and prayer of the Church, form a quorum of the presidency of the Church" (Doe. and Cov. 107: 22).  Over this quorum, as the head, stands the president of the Church.  He holds the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and has power to delegate authority to all other officers in the Church, who thus receive power under and through him to perform and do all that is necessary to accomplish what the Lord desires in the various subdivisions of his Church (Doe. and Cov. 68: 19-23; 107: 6468; 76-84).  "The keys of the kingdom belongeth always unto the presidency of the high priesthood" (Doe. and Cov. 81: 2).  It is the duty of the president of the high priesthood to preside over the whole Church and to be like unto Moses, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet, having all the gifts of God, which he bestows upon the head of the Church (Doc. and Cov. 107: 91-2) .

While the patriarch of the Church holds the keys of the sealing blessings of the Church (sec. 124: 92, 3), and the twelve hold the keys to open up the authority of the kingdom of God to the four corners of the earth, and to send the word of God to every creature, and other officers hold other keys (sec. 124: 123-128), still, it must be recognized that the keys of presidency over the high priesthood and all its officers, and to be a translator, revelator, seer and prophet, are held and belong solely to the president of the Church, under whose direction all the officers of the Church work and perform their ecclesiastical duties.