“What are priesthood keys?” Friend, February 2017
Answers from an Apostle
What are priesthood keys?
Adapted from “Where Are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood?” Ensign, May 2016, 29–32.
Priesthood keys aren’t keys you can touch or hold in your hand, like car keys. A priesthood key is the authority or permission to act in Heavenly Father’s name. Priesthood keys let Church leaders direct how the priesthood is used on earth.
Jesus Christ has all of the priesthood keys. When the Church was restored, He gave priesthood keys to Joseph Smith to act as His prophet. The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have these keys today.
The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles direct how the priesthood is used to bless Heavenly Father’s children. They delegate, or give, some priesthood keys to bishops and branch presidents.
Because priesthood keys are on the earth, we can be baptized and confirmed, receive a priesthood blessing when we are sick, and be sealed in the temple.