Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sacrament Prayers Compared

A few years ago I was curious about the subtle differences in the sacrament prayers. This is what I produced to help me study them.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Keys of the Priesthood

What is the priesthood?

“Priesthood is the authority of God delegated to man to minister for the salvation of men. ‘The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the Priesthood.’ (Teachings, p. 141.)” (Russell M. Nelson, Keys of the Priesthood, October 2005 Ensign, p. 40.)

What are keys? (Matthew 16:13-19)

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught “the fundamental principles, government, and doctrine of the Church are vested in the keys of the kingdom.” (Teachings, p. 21.)

“Today, the President of the Church actively holds every key held by ‘all those who have received a dispensation at any time from the beginning of the creation.’ (D&C 112:31; see also v. 30.)” (Russell M. Nelson, Keys of the Priesthood, October 2005 Ensign, p. 43.)

What keys were brought back in our dispensation?

Elias and why he is probably not Noah/Gabriel:
  • Elias is a title
  • There are many Elias’s in the scriptures and they are not the same people
    • Elias
    • John the Baptist
    • Jesus Christ
    • Joseph Smith
  • How could this Elias be seen as a forerunner or preparer for what came next?
    • This man is restoring something that will enable the next key to be functional

Gabriel is the same as Noah according to Joseph Smith and D&C 28:5-7:

“The Priesthood was first given to Adam; he obtained the First Presidency, and held the keys of it from generation to generation. He obtained it in the Creation, before the world was formed, as in Genesis 1:26, 27, 28. He had dominion given him over every living creature. He is Michael the Archangel, spoken of in the Scriptures. Then to Noah, who is Gabriel: he stands next in authority to Adam in the Priesthood; he was called of God to this office, and was the father of all living in this day, and to him was given the dominion. These men held keys first on earth, and then in heaven.” Teachings, p. 157


“The Bible contains no mention of Raphael; the apocryphal book of Tobias, however, contains this statement: ‘I am the Angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord.’ (Tob. 12:15.)

“As to Raphael's mortal identity we can only speculate. We do know the personages however, who restored the keys exercised in the various great dispensations mentioned in the Bible, with the exception of the dispensation of Enoch. An inference thus arises that Raphael may be Enoch or some other great prophet from his dispensation. If this assumption is correct, then the keys restored by Raphael would be those enjoyed by the saints in Enoch's day including, perhaps, the power whereby men may be translated.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 618.)

There is a mention of “divers angels.” Who else might have come?

  • Seth
  • Isaiah
  • Jeremiah
  • Daniel
  • Lehi
  • Nephi
  • Mahonri Moriancumer
  • Possibly many others…
Who holds keys?
  • First Presidency
  • Council of the Twelve Apostles
  • Temple presidents
  • Mission presidents
  • Stake presidents
  • District presidents
  • Bishops
  • Elders Quorum presidents
  • Teachers Quorum presidents
  • Deacons Quorum presidents

What happens if we abuse the Priesthood by which those who hold keys are given? (D&C 121:37)

Why do we follow those who hold keys? (D&C 124:45-46)

Priesthood Keys are the mode by which the Church is driven and directed. Indeed, without keys we would not be saved. (D&C 35:25)