Note: This is a comment I made on my last post, but I thought it was pertinent enough to make it into a post of itself.
The concept of “keys” is not absent from the Book of Mormon. Whenever God has chosen to give authority to man to perform ordinances in His name, it has been by ordination and a dispensation of keys.
Taking the example of Alma, where did he get his authority? President Joseph Fielding Smith said this:
We should take into consideration in the study of the Book of Mormon the fact that it is an abridgment taken from the records or history that had been kept by the prophets among the Nephites. Therefore, many of the details are lacking. This is equally true of the history of Israel as it has come down through the years to us in the Bible. We are left to accept the fact that Lehi, when he left Jerusalem, held divine authority and that this divine power was handed down from generation to generation until the time of the visitation of the Savior. Moreover, while the detail is lacking, the evidence is very clear that the Melchizedek Priesthood was possessed by the Nephites. [Read more…]