Have you studied Catholicism, Protestantism, or Mormonism? Then you probably have a pretty good idea.
"Hijacking" means the unlawful seizing of an aircraft, vehicle or ship while in transit.
(You can't hijack something that isn't moving.)
So whenever we see the Lord restoring his truths to men and women on earth, we see almost immediately an attempt to hijack the work of the Lord.
By those seeking for power, or praise or gain removing others' right to revelation, godly knowledge, and to church government.
In other words, by leaders co-opting and confiscating competing "keys" so that they gather all authority onto a single key chain. That they control (naturally).
We have witnessed how priesthood "keys" have silenced many people (think Abinadi and Samuel the Lamanite; Paul and even Jesus; and don't forget roughly half of the population we call . . . women).
Why do religious leaders want to quench the Spirit and the gifts among the body of Christ? Why do they want to keep such close control over things on their wonderfully bulging chain?
And what a big, horrible key chain it is!
Auditing Priesthood Keys in 5 Facts
Just to show how ridiculous things have become in the Church, leaders don't even trust lay members with the keys to their church buildings or library copy rooms ― let alone the keys to anything truly important!
Got trust issues, much?
I want to remind everyone that the Book of Mormon doesn't say anything about priesthood keys ― yes, that's right: the Most Correct Book on Earth which contains, according to the Lord, "the fulness of my everlasting gospel" (D&C 27:5), is utterly blank about keys.
1. Fact: The Book of Mormon DOES NOT MENTION priesthood keys at all. What should this tell us? Just how important are keys to the genuine gospel of Christ?
(Answer: not important. Love is the fulfilling of the commandment; love is the Royal Law; love is the sign of discipleship; love is the greatest of all . . . not keys.)
So why have we made the keys held by the Brethren the summum bonum of the gospel? Of authority? Of church government?
Have we been bamboozled?
2. Fact: If priesthood keys are transferable along lines of authority and are irrevocable, then the Catholic Church holds the keys which Jesus bestowed upon Peter, and thus a Restoration was unnecessary.
However, if a Restoration was necessary, then that means priesthood keys can be lost, and have been, and are currently.
I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven [not to an earthly organization] and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.
So what exactly did Peter's keys entitle him to do?
Become a pope? Run a multi-national religious organization with thousands of cathedrals and tens of thousands employees, with billions of dollars to bankroll the cares of this world, buy insurance and retain armies of lawyers to settle abuse claims?
. . . or were his keys intended to help Peter condescend and to become the servant of all, like Christ?
3. Fact: The gift and power of the Holy Ghost are greater than priesthood keys.
In a letter dated December 5, 1839, Joseph and his compadres wrote home about their trip to see the U.S. President:
In our interview with the President, He interogated us wherein we differed in our religion from the other religions of the day.
Bro, Joseph said we differed in mode of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands--
We considered that all other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.
[Joseph Smith and Elias Higbee, "Letter to Hyrum Smith and Nauvoo High Council, 5 December 1839," The Joseph Smith Papers]
Joseph did NOT say that priesthood keys make us different ― he said the gift of the Holy Ghost does.
I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
Notice - It is God (not persons with keys) who show us "all" (what percentage is "all?") things we should do.
Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ.
(2 Nephi 32:5-6)
4. Fact: Joseph Smith taught that "keys" is just another word for "power."
John says, 'I baptize you with water, but when Jesus comes, who has the power (or keys), he shall administer the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 360).
So anywhere we see "the power of the Holy Ghost," we could replace it with "the keys of the Holy Ghost." (See, e.g., Romans 15:13).
5. Fact: Jesus did not say we would tell who were his disciples by their keys, or office, or titles. He said:
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus also taught that his leaders were not those who held keys, or who held high office. He taught the greatest in heaven were those who were like little children.
The disciples came unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 18:1-2, 4)
Are Leaders Like Little Children or Parents?
Do little children apologize for their mistakes; are they supposed to share?
Do little children obsess over appearances and forms of speech and dress?
Do little children bully those who speak out against injustice and oppression?
Rather than being dependent upon the membership and relying upon us to take care of them, leaders instead take care of themselves and have made members dependent and reliant upon them . . . it's all backwards!
In toto, do leaders act more like strict parents than they do little children?
So What Are Keys For?
If we stopped using keys as a tool of coercion, control, power, and unrighteous dominion . . . what are keys actually for?
I'm glad you asked!
Keys are a generic term to refer to those whom the Lord confers power, generally through the Holy Ghost, and usually relate to unfolding the mysteries of God to his children on earth.
Keys ≠ Right to Rule and Reign
Keys = Reveal/Unlock Heaven's Mysteries
The "Key of Knowledge"
I think it is safe to say that priesthood keys are about revealing God to others, not about running our meetings (which, according to Moroni, is the job of the Holy Ghost).
When leaders lose the key of knowledge, they make up for it by becoming bossy. They don't know how to prepare a feast of fat things, so they obsess over the silverware placement. (Maybe if the table setting is impressive enough, we won't notice how awful and bland the food tastes.)
Jesus warned us about leaders who would try to "take away the key of knowledge" from us (Luke 11:52).
How do leaders take away "the key of knowledge?"
Primarily in two ways:
1. When Leaders themselves do not possess the gift (despite whatever their title) to be revelators, prophets and seers ― or, as Jesus taught, "ye entered not in yourselves" (Luke 11:52); and/or
2. When Leaders do not permit others to exercise the gifts of revelation, prophecy, and seership ― or, as Jesus taught, "and them that were entering in ye hindered" (Luke 11:52).
Jesus Holds the Keys
If Jesus holds all the keys, and if we're all supposed to be like Him, shouldn't we all hold keys?
Well, we do! We all hold the keys (gift) of the Holy Ghost. What more do we need?
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
So Jesus wants to share his keys with us. And what are those keys?
Top 10 Keys We Find in Scripture:
1. The Key of the mysteries of the Kingdom (D&C 84:19)
2. The Key of the knowledge of God (D&C 84:19)
3. The Key of the ministering of angels (D&C 84:26)
4. The Key of knowledge to the salvation of the living and the dead (D&C 128:11)
5. The Keys to open the door by the proclamation of the gospel to Jew and Gentile (D&C 107:35)
6. The Keys to know whether something is of God (D&C 129:9)
7. The Keys to ask and receive an answer from the Lord (D&C 124:95)
8. The Keys to unite a Zion people on earth with the Zion of old that fled (D&C 27:9)
9. The Keys of the mystery of those things which have been sealed (D&C 35:18)
10. The Keys to gather Israel (D&C 110:11)
Notice that none of these keys gives us the right to be unequal; to create rank and status among the body of Christ; to become millionaires while on the Lord's errand.
Top 10 Keys We Won't Find in Scripture:
I've gone through the scriptures and I cannot find the following Keys anywhere:
1. Keys to abolish the law of common consent;
2. Keys to never lead the Church astray;
3. Keys to unilaterally and anonymously draft a Church Handbook implementing procedures and policies that are inconsistent with the Standard Works;
4. Keys to stockpile hundreds of billions of dollars in the stock market and in real property investments;
5. Keys to collect a stipend, dividend, salary, or other remuneration for Church service;
6. Keys to quench the gifts of the Spirit among the lay membership;
7. Keys to grant authority over the body of Christ in any measure other than what Love affords;
8. Keys to lie for the Lord, and to hide our doings from the members of the Church;
9. Keys to make ourselves princes instead of servants in the household of God;
10. Keys to trample under our feet the God of Israel by encouraging idolatry (see, 1 Nephi 19:7).
What we see in the way we use priesthood keys to cloak ourselves in the mantle of authority is directly contrary to the law of the gospel, isn't it?
(1) By teaching others to follow the prophet and Brethren as a substitute for following Christ (or by teaching that it is the same, when the flip flopping of Church policy shows it is not);
(2) By teaching others to trust in the keys held by leadership over our own gifts and over the power of the Holy Ghost;
(3) By setting ourselves up as the "way, the truth, and the life."
Ironic, isn't it, that we treat those who are supposed to be special witnesses of Christ like the princes of Rome more than the martyrs of Jerusalem.