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Question

 

Gramps,

Does the release from a presiding office mean the loss of keys or the suspension of authority?

Grant

 

Answer

 

Grant,

When a person is released from a calling that has keys associated with it, they no longer hold those keys. The person newly called holds them. I’m not sure how it would work or what it would even mean to hold keys but have the authority suspended. Keys are rights. If the right is removed, one does not have keys. For example, the right to authorize the sacrament in his ward rests with the bishop. If a man wishes to give the sacrament to his family while away on a family trip, he must ask the bishop for the permission to do so. The ward member has no right to authorize this himself. When the bishop is released, he no longer has the right to authorize the sacrament ordinance. So it is with other ordinances. And you could apply it across the board — baptism, temple ordinances, etc. The one who has been given the keys has the right to authorize the performance of these ordinances, and upon their release they no longer have that right.

Now, here’s where it might get confusing. Elder¬†Boyd K. Packer¬†taught, concerning bishops, in 1999:

“Once ordained, he is a bishop for the rest of his life. When he is released from presiding over a ward, his ordination becomes dormant. If called again to preside over a ward, his previous ordination is reactivated. When he is released, it becomes dormant again.”

But this is an ordination. The keys are authority. The authority is removed when the ordination is dormant, and so the keys are removed as well when a bishop is released. If one wanted to think of it as the keys being dormant as well, I suppose it could not hurt, but it really amounts to the same thing. No authority = no keys and vice-versa. It just does not make sense to have authority but not have authority.

Gramps

 

 

 

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