A Key That Will Never Rust

For many years, members have been presented with a promise. It was claimed to have said by the Prophet Joseph Smith that,

“I will give you a key that will never rust, if you will stay with the majority of the Twelve Apostles, and the records of the Church, you will never be led astray.” (James E. Faust, “The Keys That Never Rust,” General Conference, October 1994, Sunday Afternoon session)

What a comfort this would be to those wondering about the possibility of history repeating itself! Each previous dispensation fell into apostasy, but this one has a promise that we today can just watch and follow the majority of the Twelve, as well as the records of the Church (which records referenced are unclear, but nonetheless). We are promised that nothing we are taught by our leaders will lead us away from our Father in Heaven. With such an easy measuring rod to follow, why would this key not be mentioned more often?

The quote is found only three times on the Church’s official website—the first time being earlier in the June 1994 issue of the Ensign, and then finally in Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, published in 2007. It was a recollection from the Young Women’s Journal in 1906, some 62 years after the death of the Prophet—and was never recalled by any of his closest associates. Could this be because a focus on the principle of following a modern-day “prophet” (usually meaning the President of the Church) is what is focused on more?

The first time we read of this concept of “never being led astray” is in General Conference, October 1890. Wilford Woodruff stated:

“The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.” (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)

This quotation is referenced close to 130 times in official Church publications or talks. This variation is even easier to fulfill when one doesn’t have to worry about checking to see if the majority of the Twelve are unified. All we have to do is check where the President of the Church stands, and we can rest assured—once called, he will no longer able to teach false doctrine without being taken by the Lord.  His agency has necessarily been removed, for our benefit. We can be assured that everything the President of the Church has said, while acting in his capacity as President of the Church, is the mind and will of God. That is, if the common interpretation of Woodruff’s statement is accurate. Is the statement accurate, however? Is it consistent with what the Lord Himself has revealed? Do we really need not worry about understanding the scriptures and revelations ourselves? Why would we, since we have someone else perfectly reliable to reveal their meaning to us and who will be “removed” before he has the opportunity to tell us something “not in the programme”?

The Lord Himself has stated that He is subject to His own agency, and that if He ceased to follow the law of Justice, He would cease to be God (see Alma 42:13). God retains His agency still. If God Himself can act in a way that could possibly lead to His removal as God, what makes us think a man called as a prophet cannot be removed by his own actions? Nowhere in the scriptures does it say that a man’s agency to follow God in this life is guaranteed; there is always the ability to choose good or evil.

The Lord warned Joseph on numerous occasions that his position was subject to his obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. If Joseph ceased obeying those laws and ordinances, he would be removed from his position—not killed in an act of pre-crime due to a knowledge that Joseph would act, without him actually committing the act. That outcome would remove justice from the equation, causing God to cease to be God.

The Lord does make us some unequivocal promises for our dispensation regarding the priesthood and the keys to the priesthood and the ordinances. The Lords says,

“Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth”  (D&C 27:13)

In section 65, the Lord says:

“The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth.” (D&C 65:2)

The keys of the priesthood will remain on the earth for the “last time.” There will not be a re-restoration. The keys have been restored, and they are here to stay. Does that mean that they will always be with whomever they are given to, no matter what?

The Lord warned Joseph that he could lose the keys of the priesthood, declaring:

“And the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom shall not be taken from my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., through the means I have appointed, while he liveth, inasmuch as he obeyeth mine ordinances.” (D&C 64:5)

“For unto you I have given the keys of the kingdom and if you transgress not they shall never be taken from you.” (1832 Revelation to Joseph Smith)

The requirement is clear. Joseph was promised that the keys would remain with him for the rest of his life, on the condition that Joseph would not “transgress,” and would obey (keep/perform) all of the ordinances.

The Lord has promised that the keys and priesthood will remain on the earth—but being able to maintain them as an individual entirely depends on one’s actions. No one’s agency is removed simply because they received a calling. We as individuals are not off the hook from seeking and gaining a testimony of who holds the keys, based on the principles laid out in the revelations. We are responsible for our own righteousness and actions, and cannot ride on anyone else’s coattails into the presence of God.

The Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph that only one living person at a time holds the authority to exercise those keys:

“And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.” (D&C 132:7)

This principle was clarified during the succession crisis of 1844 when the members were wondering who held the keys after the death of the Prophet Joseph. Brigham Young explained:

“I do not care who leads the church, even though [if] it were Ann Lee; but one thing I must know, and that is what God says about it. I have the keys and the means of obtaining the mind of God on the subject.” (History of the Church 7:230)

And later, explaining the distinction further, Brigham said:

“Does a man’s being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may be a Prophet, Seer and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived; the people chose to have it so.” (Journal of Discourses 1:133)

The keys are dependent on a calling of God and keeping the laws of God. They are not dependent upon one’s sustained position. For as Joseph explained:

“it is necessary to know who holds the keys of power, and who does not, or we may be likely to be deceived.” (History of the Church, vol. 6 pg. 251)

This is a “key that will never rust.”

13 thoughts on “A Key That Will Never Rust”

  1. Love this, except for the part where it says only one man holds the authority to exercise the keys. The 1880 revelation to Wilford Woodruff says all those Apostles held the Keys in common, yet there was one set apart to preside over you, so that there would be order in the Quroums.

  2. For all these splinter groups on the internet trying to weaken people’s faith and testimony by claiming the Church doesn’t have keys anymore, they would do well to realize that if the church has NO KEYS then neither to they. Like you said in this article, there will be no restoration of keys. Where did you all get your Priesthood from and where did you all get baptized before you left the church? In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So all you have told me in this article is that you don’t believe you have priesthood or keys. And I believe you. I do love the last quote of this article though. That we need to know who holds the keys of power and who doesn’t. One thing is for sure that the person who wrote this article does not have the keys of power and has no room to judge the church or the current Church leadership.

    1. interesting amount of assumptions being made here with zero basis. Also a lot of projecting going on. Impressive. One thing you did assume correctly though, no one on this site has the keys, nor do they claim to. God bless

  3. Yet in this era when the Prophet and the entire Q12 have spoken with a megaphone about the Covid vaccine so many LDS just blow it off, rationalize, ignore, or rebel against the counsel.

      1. Father has delegated to Christ To Judge All Men & Women.
        Christ is The Example – and He is a God of Truth and Canst not Lie.
        (See The Brother of Jared’s Declaration: Ether 3:12)
        Those who Follow Christ and who are called to the position of Apostle
        (An Apostle / ‘Special Witness- means:
        they are to go and obtain a ‘special witness’ of Christ by The Spirit of
        Prophesy and Revelation wherein they personally see The Face of
        Jesus Christ eye-to-eye; and can bear witness of The Reality of His
        Existence, Position as God; Savior; The Literal Only Begotten of
        The Father in the flesh- Lord; and King of Earth;
        And The Head of The Church of Jesus Christ.
        AND IF, that is the ever present Conditional-
        IF they do not obtain that witness
        and do not ask to be released from this Calling
        (a calling to obtain- not a sure receipt of Light Truth or Power –
        a calling to be worthy for – seek – and obtain The Fulfillment of
        that ‘Calling’.)
        The point of that lengthy clarification is that Those Apostles who fail to obtain that ‘witness’ are in fact False – Apostates !
        And have absolutely NO position power or authority to act in that
        Sacred Position.
        Each Prophet is also a Special Witness (and is as much an Apostle) as any in the Quorum of 12 men
        Each man and woman will be JUDGED by Christ for our works in the flesh and according to our desires !!
        That most certainly includes ea. person called to be A Leader in The Church.
        Each Bishop must tell the Truth or He is of course a Liar – a follower of Satan and has “Fallen”
        Each Stake President has the obligation to honor The Truth and have lips that never speak Guile
        Those Leaders of Ward & Stake who speak or repeat LIES become
        followers of Evil and are also “Fallen” !!
        Each Apostle whether in the Quorum or elevated (as required by Christ) by Revelation to The Position of Prophet
        Must Know Christ – having obtained The Testimony of Jesus – i.e., has seen Jesus’ mortal life in Vision (or that portion delivered to Him pursuant to his faith and The Will of God).
        And That Prophet to be a Prophet with the honor and exactness that is placed upon and required of The Mouthpiece of The Lord
        Cannot lead the Saints with Lies or into Lies – OR – that man acting as ‘prophet’ will have “Fallen”
        —— SO with those foundational TRUTHS —–
        Let us look at the works of man– this last August 2021
        A Declaration was made by the man selected and standing as Prophet for The Church.
        In That Declaration he and his two counselors signed a Statement stating
        The Vaccines are “Safe” and “Effective”.
        HERE is the Totality of that statement taken from The Church’s Website:
        “The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent the following message on Thursday, August 12, 2021,
        to Church members around the world:
        Dear Brothers and Sisters:
        We find ourselves fighting a war against the ravages of COVID-19
        and its variants, an unrelenting pandemic.
        We want to do all we can to limit the spread of these viruses.
        We know that protection from the diseases they cause can only be
        achieved by
        immunizing A Very High Percentage of The Population.
        To limit exposure to these viruses,
        we urge the use of face masks in public meetings whenever social
        distancing is not possible.
        To provide personal protection from such severe infections,
        we urge individuals to be vaccinated.

        Available Vaccines Have Proven To Be Both SAFE and EFFECTIVE.

        We can win this war
        if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of
        medical experts and government leaders.

        Please know of our sincere love and great concern
        for all of God’s children.” {emphasis added}
        The First Presidency
        Russell M. Nelson
        Dallin H. Oaks
        Henry B. Eyring
        The GOD’s TRUTH is
        that the so-called Covid 19 ‘virus’ has NEVER been isolated. (i.e., its A Hoax, a Scam, a Fraud- they instead called the latest flu a deadly virus
        TO DECEIVE!)
        The so-called ‘Vaccine’ is not a Vaccine but a genetic cocktail was developed to use messenger RNA and various substances
        included by the various Drug Companies for the nefarious goal of altering / denigrating / or Destroying The human immune system
        THIS IS A FACT – and the Fact many of These so-called ‘Vaccines’ were patented before the so-called Covid Pandemic!!
        There have been Deaths by various areas and bodily systems of existing compromised medical conditions of the people ‘Vaccinated’
        There have been blood clots, heart attacks, Miscarriages, Infertility, nervous system damages – and the list goes on and on.
        These “Available Vaccines” are being “Shown” to be neither “SAFE” nor “EFFECTIVE”. They are harmful and in many instances Deadly!
        THE ENTIRE SCIENCE OF Virology is beyond suspect and Rich with FRAUD.
        // All who have been Endowed //
        // have marching orders to Discern between Truth & Error!! //

        IF a man called to Bear The Name of Christ and Speak The Will of GOD – Speaks LIES and supports the Genocide of members & missionaries
        That man has “Fallen” and The 1st Scourge That Christ Proclaimed to Come (See Isaiah 28:2-8; D&C 85:7)

        There have been Prophets who have fallen before The Lord left The Throne to enter mortality (See Mosiah 15:13)
        And The Lord Declared there would be false prophets in The Future before His Return. He did not declare that they would exclude any having membership in His Church.
        It is woefully foolish to forget the sons of The Prophet Lehi created The Lamanite Peoples who rejected God and became what Nephi was shown by God to be a filthy and loathsome People. The descendants of the same – to have a Chance to both Receive and have a chance to enter a CLEANSED (by the 1st Scourge) CHURCH and receive the Holy Call to build The Temple Complex and City which will be “The New Jerusalem” to be Blessed and Holy and ultimately surrounded by an Army of Angels to protect it from All EVIL of both the spirit and the physical followers of Satan! NOW That is a change worthy to pray for!

        Those that cling to – or follow after anyone who LIES and seeks the Destruction of all people with such Poisons are not a friend or follower or servant of The Almighty Lord God- who raised up Joseph Smith, Jr. to Restore The Lord’s Church on Earth.
        That is why Christ Declared he would bring forth “one Mighty and Strong” to Set in Order The House of God.
        D&C 85:7-9
        7 And it shall come to pass that I, The Lord God,
        ► Will Send One Mighty and Strong, ◄
        holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words ;
        while his bowels shall be A Fountain of TRUTH,
        ► To Set In Order The House of God, ◄
        and to arrange by blot the inheritances of The Saints
        whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children,
        enrolled in The Book of The Law of God;
        8 While that man, who was called of God and appointed,
        that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God,
        shall fall by the shaft of death,
        like as a tree that is smitten by the vivid shaft of lightning.
        9 And all they who are not found written in The Book of Remembrance
        shall find none inheritance in that day,
        but they Shall Be Cut Asunder, { i.e., Excommunicated }
        and their portion shall be appointed them among Unbelievers,
        {meaning the non-members}
        where are Wailing and Gnashing of teeth.

        WELL MIGHT This Great Man That Christ will Send – repeat in a fashion – The Words of Abinidi to the wicked Priest of The Evil King Noah:
        “Have ye taught this People” about One Mighty And Strong ??
        SHALL He NOT follow the Patterns of The Holy Prophets and Rebuke the false and wicked leaders: ▼
        //The Fullness in The Scriptures//
        “I perceive that They
        are not written in your hearts” . . .
        AND To Those That LIE and have sought to give Poison To The Baptized and The Missionaries
        “I perceive that ye have studied and taught iniquity” . . . .

        THIS COMMENT was created by one of those “weak things” of the world– and verily I seek to follow ▼ The Counsel of Jesus Christ▼

        D&C 1:19-24 (excerpt)
        19 The ·weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones,
        ► that man should not counsel his fellow man,
        neither trust in the arm of flesh- ◄
        20 But that every man might speak in The Name of God The Lord, even The Savior of The World ;
        21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
        22 That Mine Everlasting Covenant Might Be Established;
        23 That The Fulness of My Gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before ‘kings and ‘rulers.
        24 Behold, I AM GOD and Have Spoken It . . . .

        PLEASE GO OUT and FIND THE TRUTH about these Poisons and their Effects – Shamefully DANGEROUS and DEADLY

        GO and Do your own research from Truth Tellers and True Scientists– and then prove the Facts by Prayer And The Spirit of GOD:
        and Know IF you should heed The other Patterns of Righteousness given in The Book of Mormon and By Prophets who have NOT Fallen into Transgression.
        Verily – The Words of Prophesy have been fulfilled–
        2 Nephi 28:14
        . . . “Because of Pride, and Wickedness, and Abominations, and Whoredoms,
        the people of this world & in all false religions
        they have All Gone Astray
        save it be a few,
        who are the humble followers of Christ;
        nevertheless, they
        are led,
        //and who leads Christ’s followers ??//
        that in many instances they Do Err Because they are taught by the precepts of men.”
        // think who is doing the teaching !!//
        This is a Pattern from Adams day to Now
        Moses 5:13
        Jeremiah 2:8; 10:21; 12:10-11; 22:22; 23:1

        GOD SHALL SEND “One Mighty And Strong” and Cleanse The Church. And This Shall Be Followed by
        The Great Tribulation (the 2nd Scourge) of All Mankind.

        God be with you –who seek to be humble, meek and True To The FAITH.
        The Promises for you who turn to God & TRUTH
        in the face of this Evil Betrayal Are Glorious
        Jeremiah 3:14-15; Jeremiah 23:2-8 !!! this about both The Cleansing/New Jerusalem & The Millennium

        When you awake to The Danger remember Christ Saw this time and danger and gave this Consolation:
        1 Nephi 21:1 (excerpt) and verse 5
        1 And Again : Hearken, O ye House of Israel,
        ► all ye that are broken off and are driven out
        because of the wickedness of the pastors of My People; ◄
        ► all ye that are broken off, that are scattered abroad,
        who are of My People, O House of Israel. ◄
        //and the Promised Deliverance
        // for all who truly repent and
        // who seek to live The Fullness
        5 . . . . yet shall I be glorious in The Eyes of The Lord,
        and my God shall be my Strength.

        !! Selah !!

  4. Lady in our ward in good health got the booster on a Friday to go on vacation to Italy. Saturday she did not fill so good and laid down and was dead by afternoon. We will se who is right about the vaccine.

  5. Nelson and the crew have blood on there hands.
    The “Church” threw everyone overboard along time ago. The Homosexual agenda,
    and Millions to the Canaanites’ “NAACP” should have showed you that. Would Abinadi or Capt. Moroni been dictated to? Or Alma and Amulek?

  6. Doesn’t the D&C 132:7 quote have to do with the ecclesiastical structure of the church and not of Priest Kings of the Melchizedek priesthood? It is clear from Joseph Smith’s last sermon in Navuoo (Sermon at the Grove), just prior to his death; that, he wanted all men of the covenant to be priest kings; which entails each man holding all the keys in relation to their posterity – including the sealing power, just as father Abraham did in his day.

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