Where Are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood?

· Week Four of the April 2016 General Conference Book Club ·

May 1, 2016 0 Comments

I used to be a chronic key loser. Throughout most of my young adulthood, I was plagued with a curious type of syndrome that caused me to forget where I had placed my key ring almost as soon as I had walked in the door.

I don’t want to even think about the time I’ve lost searching for my missing keys. The struggle is real, folks.

Keys are one of those little things in life that we take so much for granted. They keep us safe, they take us places, they allow us entrance. And often it’s not until they are lost that we realize just how crucial they really are.

Because of this, I couldn’t help but relate to a story Gary E. Stevenson tells in his recent Conference address:

As the winter afternoon sun slid behind the expansive snow-covered ski hill, the freezing mountain air sharply bit our cheeks and noses, acting almost like a stern usher instructing us to find our cars and trucks in the ski resort parking lot. There in our comfortable cars, heaters would soon warm cold fingers and toes. The sound of the frozen snow crunching with each step we took confirmed that this was extreme cold.

Our family had enjoyed a fun-filled day on the ski slopes, which was now coming to a frosty close. Arriving at the car, I reached in my coat pocket for the keys and then another pocket and another. “Where are the keys?” Everyone was anxiously waiting on the keys! The car battery was charged, and all the systems—including the heater—were ready to go, but without the keys, locked doors would deny entrance; without the keys, the engine would not provide power to the vehicle.

At the time, our primary focus was on how we were going to get into the car and get warm, but I couldn’t help but think—even then—there just might be a lesson here. Without keys, this wonderful miracle of engineering was little more than plastic and metal. Even though the car had great potential, without keys, it could not perform its intended function.

As one who is both a skier and prone to losing her keys, I have to confess that this exact situation Elder Stevenson describes has long been one of my greatest fears. Each time I have hit the slopes, I find myself checking my pockets multiple times throughout the day– because to lose the keys somewhere on the mountain would be a real-life nightmare. I can well imagine the sinking feeling that must have filled Elder Stevenson’s heart as he realized his keys had gone missing.

gary stevenson_keys

For those of us who have grown up in the Church our entire lives, we often take priesthood keys for granted. When was the last time you stopped to consider just what a blessing those keys are in our daily lives? Just as physical keys take us places, protect us, and allow us entrance, spiritual keys do the same.

And if our keys are in our possession– do we know each one’s purpose and use them? I’m embarrassed to confess that I have a number of keys on my key ring that I cannot for the life of me remember what they belong to. Do we know the importance and function of each of the spiritual keys in our lives?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unique in that it claims to have received a restoration of the priesthood keys and authority present in the early Christian church. This is a bold assertion with incredible implications for each and every member.

Elder Stevenson suggests three ways each of us– not just men, but women as well– can “find our keys,” or use priesthood keys and authority to bless our own lives as well as the lives of others:

  1. Prepare for Missionary Service
  2. Attend the Temple
  3. Go Forward with Faith

Although seemingly simple counsel, great blessings can be ours if we listen and choose to act. Paraphrasing portions of the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, Elder Stevenson explains:

To help you become all that the Lord wants you to become, kneel each morning and night in prayer to your Father in Heaven. … Study the scriptures each day and apply what you read to your life. … Strive each day to be obedient. … In all circumstances, follow the teachings of the prophets. … Be humble and willing to listen to the Holy Ghost.

As you do these things, the Lord will make much more out of your life than you can by yourself. He will increase your opportunities, expand your vision, and strengthen you. He will give you the help you need to meet your trials and challenges. You will gain a stronger testimony and find true joy as you come to know your Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, and feel Their love for you.

There is so much debate swirling around right now over priesthood keys. People have questions, and I understand that. I’ve been there.

But it’s been my experience that if you follow the counsel Elder Stevenson recommends and seek your own personal relationship with the Savior and keep the Holy Ghost in your life as a constant companion, then you will receive pure untainted answers from the Spirit. Seeking out information from various talking heads on the internet cannot promise the same.

God is there. You are adored by Him. And He wants you to find and use the spiritual keys available in your life.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seekethfindeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 

(Matthew 7:7-8)

elder stevenson_keys

Thanks for joining us for General Conference Book Club today!

Are there spiritual keys missing in your life? How will you strengthen your relationship with the Savior so you can find them? 

What steps will you start taking this week toward understanding these keys’ purpose in blessing your life and the lives of others?

general conference book club

Next Sunday we’ll review “The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness,” by Kevin R. Duncan. Come and join the conversation!

New to General Conference Book Club? Check out the details here.



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