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DEVIN - An Elders Quorum president is given
keys and a High Priest Group Leader is not given
keys, but I can see no difference in their duties,
responsibilities and stewardships. What
exactly are these "keys"? When a temple president is
set apart he is given sealing keys. Not just anybody
can perform a temple marriage. The
sealing key is a specific key. Are there specific
keys for the EQ president? What can he do that a High
Priest can not? And if there is no
difference then why does the EQ president need keys
and the HP group leader doesn't?
JOEL - Let's start off with a few quotes.
Joseph Fielding Smith said:
"Every man ordained to any degree of the priesthood
has this authority delegated to him. But it is
necessary that every act performed under this
authority shall be done at the proper time and place,
in the proper way, and after the proper order. The
power of directing these labors constitutes the keys
of the priesthood. In their fulness, the keys are held
by only one person at a time, the prophet and
President of the Church. He may delegate any portion
of this power to another, in which case that person
holds the keys of that particular labor." (Joseph F.
Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 4th ed. p. 168.)
"The president of a quorum holds the keys, or the
right to direct, in that quorum of priesthood. The
bishop holds the keys of authority in his ward. The
president of a stake holds the keys of authority in
his stake. The apostles hold the keys of authority to
preach the gospel in all the world and to have it
preached by authority."
(Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3 Bruce R. McConkie,
Joseph Fielding Smith)
Russell M. Nelson said:
"Each stake president, quorum president, and bishop
holds keys of presidency. Their keys control the power
of their particular unit of the Church. Those leaders
may not only call and release, but they must also
train and bear sacred responsibility in order that the
mission of the Church be accomplished. Those
individuals who receive ordinations or callings have
obligations of obedience, loyalty, and understanding."
(Power within Us. Russell M. Nelson p. 104)
It's all a matter of obtaining the right to preside.
There may not appear to be a difference between an EQ
pres. and HP group leader in regards to what they do,
but the fact is the only priesthood leaders who
receive "keys" are those who directly preside over a
specific unit or quorum within the Church. The Elders
Quorum President is directly responsible for the
elders in his quorum and is therefore given keys to
preside. On the other hand, the Stake President is the
president over the High Priest quorum(made of several
ward groups) and therefore holds the keys to that
Your observation is understandable. But even
though the High Priest Group leader holds no keys,
he has just as much right to receive inspiration for
his leadership position in his group as the Elder's
quorum President does. And the Stake President does
delegate some of his leadership duties to the HP group leader.
Actually, the HP group leader
is responsible for more programs and more people in
the ward than the EQ president(my experience from
having held both positions).