Following the Savior’s appearance to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple, three ancient prophets appeared. Moses conferred the keys of the gathering of Israel, Elias conferred the keys “of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham,” and Elijah conferred the keys of sealing.
“The significance of that is that the Church is organized with three executive councils that are based on those three keys that were restored in the 110th section [of the Doctrine and Covenants],” said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Elder Cook — who was interviewed as part of the Church News Inside Church Headquarters series — is featured in a new Church News video titled “Executive Councils.”
The keys of the gathering of Israel operate within the purview of the Missionary Executive Council, he explains. The keys “of the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham” — of fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant — function in the Priesthood and Family Executive Council. And the sealing keys are found in the Temple and Family History Executive Council. These councils serve under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in council with the First Presidency.
Read more: A look at 3 of the Church’s executive councils and what they do
“The council process refines things and perfects them, and the council setting allows great power and purpose to come into them,” Elder Cook said. “The council in heaven started this. I think it’s part of our heritage from heaven, I think it’s part of our doctrine. I think councils are something that we really are expected by the Lord to do and do as well as we possibly can.”
Watch more Church News videos here.