Just take the example of Nephi in Helaman Chapter 10. How was the sealing authority conferred?
And it came to pass as he was thus pondering in his heart, behold, a voice came unto him saying: Blessed art thou, Nephi . . . I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels, that ye shall have power . . . that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
This is perhaps the best example I can think of for how it all works.
1. God's "voice came" unto Nephi.
2. God called him by name.
3. God made an oath and covenant with Nephi with the angels as witnesses.
4. God bestowed power and authority to seal on earth and in heaven merely by stating it.
5. God's word was good enough; no written contract or laying on of hands necessary.
Example 5: Abraham.
Do we think of Abraham as a prophet? He was one, and so much more. He was a patriarch prophet, and now he sits on a throne in heaven (D&C 132:29), so I guess we could call him a king, too.
A prophet-father and king (this is starting to sound like a Christ-figure).
Lets look at how prophets are (1) called and (2) what their missions entail.
Chances are, we're going to see the same pattern repeated.
Which means you'll be ready to receive your own call from the Lord.
1. Abraham's Call
Amos was out with the sheep in the field when the voice of the Lord came to him; Samuel was in bed with a cup of chamomile tea; Elijah was dodging earthquakes in a cave; and now we have, taking the cake, Abraham being sacrificed along with some virgins on Pharaoh's altar when the voice of God confers upon him power and authority.
(It goes to show that the call can come anywhere, anytime.)
And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life . . . his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah . . . Behold, I will lead thee by my hand, and I will take thee, to put upon thee my name.
Notice how the Lord called him by name, and put upon him His name?
And in Abraham 1:17, the Lord referred to Abraham as "my son."
Why is that significant?
2. Abraham's Mission
And what was Abraham called to do?
He had to leave behind the false traditions of his idolatrous fathers and receive greater light and truth from the Fathers.
In other words, he destroyed the priestcraft of the Egyptians (who were the religious authorities of his day) and brought his family unto the True and Living God.
EXAMPLE 6: Moses
1. Moses's Call
Surprise, surprise: history repeats itself.
Abraham lived around 2000 B.C. and Moses about 1200 B.C. (six hundred years later), but the story is eerily similar.
And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name. And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son.
(Moses 1:3, 6)
Just like the Egyptians tried to kill Abraham, they also tried to kill Moses (as a baby, and when he fled Egypt).
Hmmm. Notice how the Lord called Moses by name, and put upon him His name?
And in Moses 1:4, 6, 7, and 40 (that's four times!) the Lord referred to Moses as "my son."
Why is that significant?
2. Moses's Mission
Let's see. Moses destroyed the priestcraft of the Egyptians (who were the religious authorities of his day) and brought his family unto the True and Living God.
EXAMPLE 7: Samuel the Lamanite
1. Samuel the Lamanite's Call
Let's change hemispheres to see if we can get some variety, shall we?
Behold, the voice of the Lord came unto him, that he should return again, and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into his heart.
Well, this is interesting. The Lord personally sends Samuel (to whom he gives the gift of prophecy) to preach to the Nephites, even though Samuel held no ecclesiastical office and had no "authority" they would recognize.
In fact, the Nephites were predisposed to disregard anything Samuel had to say because of their prejudice; and they had already "cast him out" for preaching the word, so Samuel's obedience is all the more remarkable considering he knew their hearts:
And now, because I am a Lamanite, and have spoken unto you the words which the Lord hath commanded me, and because it was hard against you, ye are angry with me and do seek to destroy me, and have cast me out from among you.
I always get a kick out of the Nephites' response to Samuel:
"Take this fellow and bind him, for behold he hath a devil."
Likewise said they of Jesus.
2. Samuel the Lamanite's Mission
So Samuel was called to preach the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Nephites, which happened to destroy their priestcraft, wanting to bring them unto the True and Living God.
We're not done, oh no. Next time we'll be looking at the examples of Abinadi, John the Baptist, Joseph Smith, and the Lord himself, Jesus Christ. Stay tuned, my friends!