Elijah: clothed with fulness of priesthood might, power

"The reason Elijah is known as `the prophet' and the one who was to restore the keys of the priesthood to save the world from utter ruin is because he not only magnified his priesthood, but because of the magnitude of the authority placed upon him," explained Elder Joseph Fielding Smith in his book, The Way to Perfection.

"He held the keys of sealing power. This authority gave him power to close the heavens that it did not rain except by his command. He had authority to call down fire from heaven and destroy the false priests of Baal. For this act he has been roundly criticized by the ignorant who fail to comprehend that he could do nothing except the Lord was with him; therefore what he did was done in righteousness and found approval in the heavens."Moreover, Elijah was clothed with the fulness of priesthood and by this authority all things done in the name of the Lord are made valid. Without it, nothing would be complete. It is the power by which a man and a woman are united for time and for all eternity in the temple. By this authority parents have claim upon their children who are born under the everlasting covenant. The family through the power of the sealing is made perpetual, that is to say, it will continue beyond the grave. It is by this authority that generation is linked to generation in one grand whole, from the days of Adam to the end of time, composed of all those who are entitled, through their faithfulness to exaltation in the celestial kingdom of God."

Elder Smith quoted the Prophet Joseph Smith regarding Elijah and his authority: " `The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fulness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.' " (History of the Church 6:251.)

Elder Smith said the Prophet asked, " What is the office and work of Elijah?" The Prophet answered: "It is one of the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed. He should send Elijah to seal the children to the fathers, and the fathers to the children.' Now, was this merely confined to the living, to settle difficulties with families on earth? By no means. It was a far greater work. Elijah! What would you do if you were here? Would you confine your work to the living alone? No; I would refer you to the scriptures, where the subject is manifest; that is, without us, they could not be made perfect, nor we without them; the fathers without the children, nor the children without the fathers.' " (HC 6:251-252.)

Elder Smith said this work would not be confined to the dead because "you people who are living require these sealing powers bestowed upon you. They are just as essential for you as they are for those who are dead; and don't get the idea that Elijah's mission was a mission confined to or for the dead. His mission was universal."

In a general conference address on April 6, 1948, Elder Smith, then of the Council of the Twelve, said: "Elijah restored to this Church and, if they would receive it, to the world, the keys of the sealing power; and that sealing power puts the stamp of approval upon every ordinance that is done in this Church and more particularly those that are performed in the temples of the Lord. . . .

"Our duty is to search out our dead, and I am very grateful that the Church is helping us in these matters by securing the record of the dead that we might have them, and our duty is to perform the necessary ordinances in their behalf in our temples."

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