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GARY - Why wasn't the Priesthood restored by the hand of Elijah the prophet per D&C 2?
JOEL Here's D&C 2:
1 Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
2 And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers.
3 If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
This is how Joseph Smith explained it:
"Elijah was the last Prophet that held the keys of the Priesthood, and who will, before the last dispensation, restore the authority and deliver the keys of the Priesthood, in order that all the ordinances may be attended to in righteousness. It is true that the Savior had authority and power to bestow this blessing; but the sons of Levi were too prejudiced. "And I will send Elijah the Prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord," etc., etc. Why send Elijah? Because he holds the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances of the Priesthood; and without the authority is given, the ordinances could not be administered in righteousness. (DHC IV:211.)
Elijah held the keys of the authority to administer in all the ordinances of the Priesthood. The fact that Elijah would "reveal unto you the Priesthood" is not quite the same as conferring and ordaining the priesthood on someone like Peter James and John did. The revealing included the restoration of certain priesthood keys that would make complete the restoration of priesthood authority on earth.