God "has promised
us great things; yea, even a visit from the heavens,"
Joseph Smith prophesied in 1833.1 Three years later on
Easter Sunday, the resurrected Savior appeared to the
Prophet in the Kirtland Temple and announced, "I am he
who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the
vision closed, the heavens were again opened" and at
the Lord's direction the ancient prophets Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared, one by one, to
the Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdery and committed the
"keys of this dispensation"3 to carry forward "ordinances instituted in
the heavens before the foundation of the
With these keys,
the "power to seal on earth and in heaven,"5 we can be united
with our Father in Heaven as families for eternity and
fulfill the promise "to turn the hearts of the fathers
to the children, and the children to the
History of the Church, 1:316.
2. D&C 110:4.
History of the Church, 5:423.
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel.
Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 340.
6. D&C 110:15.
Jesus Christ is our Advocate with the Father (see Moroni 7:28; D&C 110:4) and pleads our cause with Him (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Advocate," 12).
An Old Testament prophet who led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. Moses appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836, in the temple in Kirtland, Ohio, and conferred on them the keys of the gathering of Israel (see D&C 110: 11; The Guide to the Scriptures, "Moses," 168–169).
There are several uses for the name or title Elias, including (1) the New Testament (Greek) form of Elijah (see Matthew 17:3–4); (2) as a forerunner, such as John the Baptist (see Matthew 17:12–13); (3) as a restorer, such as John the Revelator (see D&C 77:14) or Gabriel (see Luke 1:11–20; D&C 27:7); as the name of a prophet who lived at the same time as Abraham (see D&C 84:11–13; 110:12; The Guide to the Scriptures, "Elias," 72).
An Old Testament prophet who returned in the latter days to confer the keys of the sealing power on Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The power of Elijah is the sealing power of the priesthood by which things that are bound or loosed on earth are bound or loosed in heaven (see D&C 128: 8–18). Chosen servants of the Lord on earth today have this sealing power and perform the saving ordinances of the gospel for the living and the dead (see D&C 128:8; The Guide to the Scriptures, "Elijah," 72–73).
Sacred rites and ceremonies. Ordinances consist of acts that have spiritual meanings, such as covenants with the Lord (The Guide to the Scriptures, "Ordinances," 184–85).
Power to Seal on Earth and in Heaven
Learn more about the Kirtland Temple.
Learn more about Joseph Smith's desire to build temples.
Click here to go to the official Temples section of lds.org.