The Transfiguration of Christ

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 35–36


On the Mount of Transfiguration Peter, James, and John beheld the glory of Jesus Christ and received keys of priesthood from holy visitations. These keys still reside in the Church.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The transfiguration of Christ and those events surrounding it were an important witness to Peter, James, and John of the divinity of Christ and the reality of revelation.

  • B.

    A significant part of the transfiguration experience was the committal of priesthood keys to the presiding apostles

  • C.

    Priesthood keys, in essence, are the power of presiding over and conducting the activities of the priesthood of the Church

  • D.

    All the priesthood keys presently pertaining to mortality are held by the President of the Church.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Matthew 16, through 18; Mark 8:11-38; 9; Luke 9:18-50; 10:1-16.

Course Manual

Chapter 14, “The Transfiguration of Christ”

Standard Works

Matthew 17:1-9. What happened on the Mount of Transfiguration?

D&C 63:20, 21. What else occurred on the occasion of the transfiguration?

Luke 9:28-36; 2 Peter 1:16-19; 3 Nephi 28:13-17. Further light on what transfiguration is.

Matthew 16:16-19. How did the Savior describe the use of priesthood keys?

D&C 81:2. Who always has the right to the keys of the kingdom?

D&C 27:12, 13; 110:11-16. How and by whom were priesthood keys given to the leaders of the present dispensation?

Basic Library

Jesus the Christ, pp. 370-77. The transfiguration.

Gos. Doc., p. 136. What are priesthood keys?

DS, 3:125-30. The restoration of priesthood keys.

Joseph Fielding Smith in CR, Apr. 1972, pp. 98-99. The keys of the priesthood are in the Church today.

Additional Sources

Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:399-400.

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 411-13. The keys of the kingdom.

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

Priesthood and Keys (A Discussion)

To help students understand how keys relate to priesthood, the teacher might give the example of a father giving a son a new car. Ask what would be needed to make the car run? (Keys.) How do keys help the priesthood function? Is there often more than one key for a car? Why? Why must there be many priesthood keys? (See D&C 128:21.)

Revelation—the Rock upon Which the Church Is Built (An Illustration)

The instructor could place the following statement on the board or on a student handout:

“… Jesus in His teaching says, Upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. What rock? Revelation.” (Joseph Smith, Teachings, p. 274.)

Then by use of the following analogy, an important point about revelation could be made:

for the teacher

Who is the one through whom revelation for the Church is given? (See D&C 107:91, 92. Note also John 1:42, Inspired Version.)