The Guide to the Scriptures

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Keys of the Priesthood

Keys are the rights of presidency, or the power given to man by God to direct, control, and govern God’s priesthood on earth. Priesthood holders called to positions of presidency receive keys from those in authority over them. Priesthood holders use the priesthood only within the limits outlined by those who hold the keys. The President of the Church holds all priesthood keys (D&C 107:65–67, 91–92; 132:7).

  • Peter received the keys of the kingdom:Matt. 16:19;
  • Michael (Adam) received the keys of salvation under the direction of Jesus Christ:D&C 78:16;
  • The keys of the kingdom belong always to the First Presidency:D&C 81:2;
  • The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the key of the mysteries of the knowledge of God:D&C 84:19;
  • Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received keys concerning the gathering of Israel, the gospel of Abraham, and the sealing powers:D&C 110:11–16;
  • Special keys are held by the Twelve Apostles:D&C 112:16;
  • The First Presidency and the Twelve hold the keys of the dispensation of the fulness of times:D&C 112:30–34;
  • Officers in the priesthood hold keys:D&C 124:123;
  • He who has keys can obtain knowledge:D&C 128:11;
  • The Aaronic Priesthood holds the keys of the ministering of angels and of the gospel of repentance and baptism:JS—H 1:69; ( D&C 13; )