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- Hold the keys

- Have confirmed authority- Led by Christ

President Boyd K. Packer, acting president of the Council of the Twelve, spoke Saturday morning on "the line of unbroken authority since the beginning of the restoration" that makes smooth and effective the succession of the senior Apostle to the office of President of the Church.

"Individually and collectively," he said, "the Twelve hold the keys and have confirmed the authority to exercise all of the keys upon the senior Apostle, the man who is to preside over the Church."

He said the raising of the hands to sustain Church leaders has been a custom since ancient times, symbolized when Aaron and Hur "stayed up" the hands of Moses as Joshua led in fighting the Amalekite robbers. (See Ex. 17:8-13.)

"The sustaining of the prophet is still essential to the on-going safety of the people," President Packer said.

He further said: "The Lord revealed why `he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets.' It is `For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.' (Eph. 4:11-13.)

"The ministry of the Apostles - the Presidency and the Twelve - therefore is to bring us to a unity of the faith.

"As it has been since the beginning, the adversary would divide us, break us up, and if he can, destroy us. But the Lord said, `Lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day. . . . Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.' (D&C 27:15,17.)

"The ministry of the prophets and apostles leads them ever and always to the home and the family. That shield of faith is not produced in a factory, but at home in a cottage industry.

"The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father. . . .

"In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In Church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis," President Packer said.

He noted that in the solemn assembly, members' thoughts were centered on noble titles of high priest, president, apostle, prophet, seer and revelator. But, he added, the heavens are not offended "if we at once speak of father, mother, child, brother, sister, family: even dad, mom, grandma, grandpa, baby."

The great plan of happiness revealed to prophets is the plan for a happy family, he said. "It is the love story between husband and wife, parents and children, that renews itself through the ages.

"And now with an unbroken line of priesthood authority and an unbroken line of priesthood power, we move confidently forward in unity and faith led by Christ the Redeemer, whose Church this is, and His earthly prophet through whom He will speak."