Priesthood keys are the authority Heavenly Father has given to priesthood leaders to direct the use of His priesthood on earth. Jesus Christ holds all priesthood keys. “The keys of this dispensation,” which are necessary to lead the Church, were conferred on the Prophet Joseph Smith. Today the members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles hold those keys. Priesthood keys are also given to the Presidency of the Seventy; presidents of temples, missions, stakes, and districts; bishops; branch presidents; and quorum presidents—including Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidents. (1)
We often speak of aligning keys, but what does it mean? A great example is when an Area President uses his “keys” to determine an Area Plan. From that point on the WHAT is decided. Stake Presidents use their keys to find the HOW to implement the plan in their area of responsibility. Likewise a bishop uses his keys to implement the HOW of a Stakes plan in the ward. When this happens we can say that that “the keys are aligned”
We sometimes spend too much time rethinking the WHAT and forget to think about the HOW. If we seek to find the HOW, the work will hasten!