A few weeks ago, I referenced the role of priesthood keys in a local church organization.
In short, I made the observation that sometimes leaders will avoid innovation and inspiration that comes through their priesthood keys and assume they must not do more or less than what the handbook outlines.
The purpose of my comments was to get others to consider this question: Why do local leaders receive priesthood keys when they have a handbook organized by general authorities with priesthood keys?
This is a fascinating topic (especially for leadership nerds like you and me).
Priesthood keys are defined as “the right to preside over and direct the Church within a jurisdiction.”
So, what does that look like?
How does a leader balance the guidelines given in the Church’s General Handbook with their own revelation and priesthood authority?
All leaders would be blessed by spending some time with sections 0.0 through 0.6 in the handbook.
The first paragraph encourages leaders to “seek personal revelation to help [them] learn and fulfill the duties of [their] calling.”
Next it encourages leaders to “[study] the scriptures and the teachings of latter-day prophets” in order to “help [them] understand and fulfill [their] duties.”
Thus, leaders will be “more receptive to the influence of the Spirit.”
If leaders only did that, they would be overflowing with revelation of ways to fulfill their duties.
The third paragraph gives leaders encouragement to “also learn [their] duties by studying the instructions in the handbook.”
Hear me out…
I’m not trying to encourage some type of rogue leadership.
In fact, I’m encouraging just the opposite:
Do what the handbook tells you, and seek that personal revelation.
If inspiration comes that seems too far out of the box, have a conversation with your presiding authority.
Let him know you feel these ideas have come to you as you have sought out revelation to fulfill your calling.
If there is resistance, ask for a trial period.
Fighting for your own revelation is what the members of your ward or organization deserve from their leader.
What good are your keys and authority if you are not using them?
Why not give them back to general leadership?