In his April 2016 General Conference talk, Where Are the Keys and Authority of the Priesthood?, Elder Gary E. Stevenson shared an experience he had when, at the end of a skiing trip, he found that he had misplaced the keys to the vehicle that would take him home. He and I have something in common; when this happened to him, even before finding the keys, he thought, "there just might be a lesson here." And there was. He thought of how powerful and important the car was, especially since it was very cold that evening and night was falling. He must have thought about how necessary it was to get into the car so he could get warm and get home. But he also thought of how impossible it was to get into the car without the keys.
The obvious analogy is to relate the car and its keys to the priesthood authority and its keys. Elder Stevenson said "priesthood authority and priesthood keys . . . open the
gates of heaven, . . . and pave the covenant
pathway back to our loving Heavenly Father." Without the priesthood, essential ordinances, such as baptism, could not be performed, and without those ordinances, no one could enter the kingdom of heaven, no matter how righteous they are.
Fortunately, "The Lord has shown us that He will not leave us standing in the bitter
cold without keys or authority to lead us safely home to Him." There was a space of time when the priesthood power wasn't available on the earth, but just as Elder Stevenson miraculously found the keys to his car, the keys to the priesthood were also restored. "Without this restoration, we would be locked out from the vehicle
necessary to transport us on our journey home to loving heavenly
parents," but with those keys, we can access a power that will comfort us, strengthen us, and make it possible for us to get back to our home with our Father in Heaven. I am thankful for the power and keys of the priesthood and I'm thankful that God restored those keys when they were lost.