A few interesting ideas about keys in the church. For your consideration.
"In order to receive priesthood keys the recipient must be taught them. This concept is almost completely foreign to modern members of the church. However, this is exactly what was meant by Joseph Smith. And we know this is the case because of Joseph Smith’s early practices, his statements, and beliefs.
"Knowledge of what the keys are and how to use them cannot be transferred through simply uttering the phrase, 'I bestow upon you the keys.'
"It would be like giving your car keys to someone, but not actually giving them the physical keys. Instead you just tell them that they now possess the keys to your car. But unless they do some hot wiring, they aren't going to be starting the car anytime soon.
"No, the Keys must be taught to the recipient. Therefore, when Joseph Smith received the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood, the messengers who bestowed them must not have simply pronounced upon them the keys. Rather, they bestowed the knowledge of the physical and spoken manifestations that are the Keys."
"The word key was often used by the Prophet Joseph Smith. In this instance it refers to a means of unlocking revelation whereby 'knowledge and revelation shall flow.' It is this knowledge and intelligence that empowers people to become more like Christ, and by becoming more like Christ they are in turn unified with each other. In other words, the magnificent "key" that was given was the key to the knowledge that allows the blessings and power of the priesthood to change us -to allow us to be born again." (Joseph Smith and the Doctrinal Restoration, pg 247.)