President Young said the spirit of the Lord and keys of the priesthood holds power and dominion over all animated beings. When Father Adam transgressed the law, he did not fall all at once from the presence of the Lord, but spake face to face with him for a long time afterwards. The rising generation continued to sin and degenerate from generation to generation until they have got so far from the Lord that a veil of darkness sprung up between them, so that they could not any longer speak with the Lord save it was through a prophet. During this time the earth and all creation groaned in sin and continued to degenerate, and enmity increased and the lives of man and beast began to shorten, and the earth continued downwards to the present time. For this cause the Son of God descended below all things that he might reach the case of every man that he might return to the Father and possess all things.
In this dispensation the keys that were committed to Father Adam will be restored. And we are to commence retracting, and to approximate back again into the favor and presence of the Lord by taking up the ordinances of the gospel and following them back to the starting point.
[Willard Richards Journal]