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Priesthood keys... and when someone else turns them.


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#1 cbcmariners77

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:46 PM

A high priest group leader does not have priesthood keys like an elders quorum president, so even though the group and quorum are so darned similar, while I still think the group leader would use inspiration like any calling would require, it would be good for them to take some cues from the stake president. I mean, technically, since the stake president is the president over that group, they'd be the ones directing the labors in that portion of the vineyard. But what about an elders quorum president? An EQ president has keys, right? Doesn't that mean implementing things, making decisions, leading in administrative and minstrative tasks? Example: In my own PPI for EQ, however, I was told that the presidency could do home teaching interviews, but ONLY the president was to do PPIs. I asked this second counselor, "well, President, why is it that YOU can do a PPI as a counselor, but my counselors can't?" I never really got a good answer. It doesn't say in the book that the EQ counselors can't do this! However, the trump card is played. So, when a person has priesthood keys, but someone else is always turning them for you, how is a person even using their keys? I realize there is a chain of command, all the way up through the prophet. But if someone else is micromanaging every move you make, are you really directing the labors? Are you really given the opportunity to use the inspiration you receive? I just throw this out here to see if anyone else has had this experience, has any insights, etc. I don't need a lecture about how I should get my own answers... trust me, I am getting answers. But information leads to inspiration and I'm not above getting that in a myriad of different ways :).

#2 DHK

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 10:55 PM

So, your real question is: "How can I work more effectively with the church heirarchy that is above me in my calling when we don't necessarily see eye-to-eye?" Lately, the best response I've been hearing is: "Can we look it up in the Church Handbook and see what it says?"
"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21). President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

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#3 cbcmariners77

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Posted 11 October 2011 - 11:16 PM

So, your real question is:

"How can I work more effectively with the church heirarchy that is above me in my calling when we don't necessarily see eye-to-eye?"

Lately, the best response I've been hearing is:

"Can we look it up in the Church Handbook and see what it says?"


No, that's not the question at all. Whether you work well with or don't work well with is not the question. H, for example, work very well with my stake president. However, if he's running my quorum, then I'm not running my quorum. So, what are the keys for? I hear and read to direct the labor. But what is NOT being written?

Trust me, I know the handbook.

#4 Spartan117

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 12:34 AM

But what is NOT being written?


Apparently the answer you need.

#5 MarginOfError

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:07 AM

I am wildly confused, and that makes it very hard for me to make any kind of comment. I can't decide if you're an elder or a high priest. I also can't decide if you are in quorum or group leadership. Who was conducting your PPI? I guess the context of your situation isn't clear to me. Could you clarify it please?

Dude. When both Vort and MOE are in agreement, the thinking has been done. :D


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#6 rameumptom

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:39 AM

Sometimes it is an issue of being tested to see if we will obey or if we will murmur. Yes, there may be more effective ways of doing some things, but sometimes the Lord is more interested in the test of faith. Are we fully sustaining our leaders, even if we sometimes may have a better way of doing things (or at least we think we do)? Or do we murmur behind their backs? Perhaps right now the issue is to obey, and show that you are worthy of additional trust. Sometimes there are reasons we may not be aware of in the guidance we are given. I know there have been times in the past when priesthood leaders have given me counsel, and I now wish I would have followed it. But hindsight is 20/20, I guess. Follow the counsel given, and you will be blessed for being obedient. There is a reason for this that you do not yet see. But the day will come when the wisdom behind the guidance will become apparent to you.
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#7 rameumptom

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Posted 12 October 2011 - 05:42 AM

BTW, while an EQP holds keys for his quorum, it still is under direction of the Stake President, who holds the keys to the Melchizedek Priesthood in the entire stake. He delegates keys to the HPG leader, so there really is no difference between an EQP and HPGL in regards to authority, except that the HPGL is over a group of High Priests and not over the entire quorum (which entails all the High priests in the stake).
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#8 cbcmariners77

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 07:08 PM

Thanks for your comments.

#9 annewandering

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 07:17 PM

For some reason it reminds me of doing dishes when I was a kid. My mom did them one way. I saw an aunt do them differently and liked that way better. My mom did not like that way. I lived in my moms house. She had authority over me. I did them her way. Now I do them my way.

#10 cbcmariners77

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 07:52 PM

For some reason it reminds me of doing dishes when I was a kid. My mom did them one way. I saw an aunt do them differently and liked that way better. My mom did not like that way. I lived in my moms house. She had authority over me. I did them her way. Now I do them my way.


I like your analysis. I guess that's my point. In this case, Mom keeps telling me I have the ability to do the dishes however I want, except, I see that's not really the case. So, my question, then, is: what does Mom really mean when she says I have the ability to direct my own dishwashing?

Nice analogy :).

#11 annewandering

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:15 PM

I like your analysis. I guess that's my point. In this case, Mom keeps telling me I have the ability to do the dishes however I want, except, I see that's not really the case. So, my question, then, is: what does Mom really mean when she says I have the ability to direct my own dishwashing?

Nice analogy :).


probably that they want you do do it their way. lol.

#12 cbcmariners77

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 08:25 PM

Yeah. I suppose. This is the first calling I've had that has had "keys," and that's why I'm praying and studying and trying to figure out the darned difference between this and any other calling that I had which didn't have keys but which I used fasting, prayer, subsequent inspiration and hard work to make sure everything turned out OK.

#13 annewandering

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Posted 08 November 2011 - 11:38 PM

Yeah. I suppose. This is the first calling I've had that has had "keys," and that's why I'm praying and studying and trying to figure out the darned difference between this and any other calling that I had which didn't have keys but which I used fasting, prayer, subsequent inspiration and hard work to make sure everything turned out OK.


Sounds like you had it down on your other callings and need to just carry the same actions over to this new one.

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:41 PM

Never made sense to me that the SP has the keys to the HP Quorum when he is rarely involved with Ward-level HP issues. He rarely sets direction for specifically HP quorums across the Stake either. Most of the decisions for the local Ward HP group are made by the HPGL. And, the one time our SP DID set direction for the Ward HP Groups, my implementation led to a backlash from the Ward leadership, and the Bishopric quashed the initiative. AS HPGL, we were left out of the change. I see no reason for making the SP the key turner for the HPGL when he isn't such for the EQP.

#15 Vort

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 10:12 PM

Never made sense to me that the SP has the keys to the HP Quorum when he is rarely involved with Ward-level HP issues. He rarely sets direction for specifically HP quorums across the Stake either. Most of the decisions for the local Ward HP group are made by the HPGL.

And, the one time our SP DID set direction for the Ward HP Groups, my implementation led to a backlash from the Ward leadership, and the Bishopric quashed the initiative. AS HPGL, we were left out of the change.

I see no reason for making the SP the key turner for the HPGL when he isn't such for the EQP.


The reason is that he presides over the quorum of high priests. The presiding authority always has the keys. They are what makes him the presiding authority.
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#16 Guest_mormonmusic_*

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 04:18 AM

The reason is that he presides over the quorum of high priests. The presiding authority always has the keys. They are what makes him the presiding authority.


I know that. But why invest the keys in the SP for the HP Group when really, the decisions that affect the HP group are made by the HPGL at the local ward level, in consultation with the Bishop, pretty much like it works with the EQP? Operationally I had about as much decison-making control as the EQP.

There are times when I think JS was a bit fixated on the span of control concept. The more responsible the quorum, the larger it can be -- evidenced by the ever increasing thresholds at which deacons, teachers, priests quorums get split. I think it's been taken too far with the HP Group. Not that it limited my decision-making authority in anyway, it just seemed like an artificial separation of leadership from "key-holding".

#17 rameumptom

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

Stake President holds keys to all Melchizedek within a stake. That includes the Elder's Quorums. Through the high council, the Stake President should be actively working with the HPGL and EQP to ensure the quorums are functioning well, and receive the training they should receive. In my stake, as a high counselor, I spend lots of hours in my assigned branch, training the EQP, and going out with the presidency to visit families in the unit. That many high councils are not used in that way, means that they are not being used effectively.
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#18 cbcmariners77

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 08:56 AM

I appreciate the last two responses, and the one I got off-line, too. One person just assured me that even though the stake president holds the keys within the stake, they should allow the high counselors train and then let the EQ presidents learn how to use their keys, without turning the stake into the "super ward" concept. He told me that action is like giving our young men keys, but rather than train them how to use them, then allow them to learn through trial-and-error (which builds growth), often time the bishop might just tell them how he wants it and then make them do everything by instructions (which teaches them to become slothful servants). This totally makes sense. His final word: not all stake presidents are so hands-on and unpersuaded to let their EQ presidents grow, so my confusion was understandable. As a former stake president (him), he told me to just be obedient and do my best and soon, I'd be able to use my keys more fully. This was nice to hear. Thank you to this and the last two public comments. That was encouraging and helped foster a better understanding!

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:28 AM

My understanding is that the EQP has the keys over his quorum, but the HPGL does not -- the SP does. For me, I don't see why there is this distinction. Why not let the quorums have the keys as they pertain to their Ward, and the SP has them for the Stake? that is what happens in practice anyway. Why even introduce the idea of "keys" at all, when we have the mantle of the calling?

#20 xbxb

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:21 AM

I don't know if this will help you or not. The Keys are given to us by the First Presidency of the Church who holds them. A general authority of the Church is given the authority to bestow them upon a Stake President, establishing a Priesthood line of Authority. Stake Presidents are the presiding high priests in the stake, and Bishops are the presiding high priests in a ward. There is nothing wrong with the high priest group leader making decisions --as a matter of fact you and your assistants should be making decisions for your group, but that does not mean you hold the keys. If the decision you make is not in line with what a Bishop or a Stake President desires then they should have a discussion with you and explain why it is not in line with what they are trying to accomplish. Stake Presidents receive revelation for and in behalf of the stake and Bishops receive revelation for and in behalf of the ward. Everyone is entitled to receive revelation for their calling. If you make decisions discuss them in PEC Meeting or Ward Council meeting. If the Bishop would like to go in a different direction he will make the correction. If during an interview with a member of the Stake Presidency they ask you to go in a different direction then do so. Report back to the Bishop and he can have a discussion with the Stake President. Respect those decisions from your priesthood leaders and Heavenly Father will bless you. Keys are given to certain people to maintain order in the kingdom, perform ordinances, provide leadership, and give authority. 7.2 Stake Melchizedek Priesthood Leadership 7.2.1 Stake Presidency The stake president is the presiding high priest in the stake. He and his counselors comprise the stake high priests quorum presidency. They give instruction at high priests quorum meetings. They may occasionally visit high priests group meetings and elders quorum meetings to give instruction and counsel. The stake president oversees the conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordinations to the offices of elder and high priest (see Handbook 1, 16.7.1). The stake president calls an elder in each ward to be the elders quorum president. In each ward that has a high priests group, the stake president or an assigned counselor in the stake presidency calls a high priest to be the high priests group leader. Before calling a new elders quorum president or high priests group leader, the stake president consults with the bishop of the ward. The bishop may recommend whom to call. The stake president, an assigned counselor, or an assigned high councilor calls counselors in the elders quorum presidency and assistants in the high priests group leadership. The elders quorum president and high priests group leader, in consultation with the bishop, may recommend counselors and assistants. All recommendations for calling members of elders quorum presidencies and high priests group leaderships are subject to the approval of the stake presidency and high council. When new quorum or group leaders are called, a member of the stake presidency or high council presents them to quorum or group members for a sustaining vote. If an elder is called to serve in a high priests group leadership, he must be ordained a high priest before he is set apart. The stake president sets apart a new elders quorum president and confers the keys of his calling. A member of the stake presidency sets apart a new high priests group leader, who does not receive keys. A member of the stake presidency or high council sets apart counselors to the elders quorum president and assistants to the high priests group leader. After new quorum or group leaders are sustained, a member of the stake presidency or bishopric announces these callings in sacrament meeting. He does not ask for a sustaining vote in sacrament meeting.

Edited by xbxb, 14 November 2011 - 06:16 PM.





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