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Cancellation of Sealings

by Ronald E. Poelman

The keys of the kingdom of heaven, conferred upon Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 16:19) and restored to the earth in recent times (D&C 110) by the prophet Elijah, who was custodian of this power anciently (see Mal. 4:5-6), include the authority to "bind and loose" on earth, with corresponding effect in heaven. Currently this power is held and exercised only by the president of the church and others upon whom it is conferred by him or at his direction. Once a sealing ordinance is performed, only the First Presidency can approve a change in sealing status, including the cancellation of a sealing (Church Handbook of Instructions, 6-5 through 6-7).

The First Presidency may cancel temple sealings when the circumstances of a request for cancellation warrant it.

(See Basic Beliefs home page; Church Organization and Priesthood Authority home page; Priesthood Organization home page; Priesthood Ordinances home page)


General Handbook of Instructions. Salt Lake City, 1989.



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Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Sealings, Cancellation of

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