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Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 09 Jan 2018, 08:53
by Roy
Why do we use consecrated oil for blessings of healing?
Why does a second individual need to "seal" the anointing?

What is the biblical precedent?
Does this sort of thing happen in any other churches?
Any ideas?

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 09 Jan 2018, 09:47
by NightSG
Roy wrote:
09 Jan 2018, 08:53
Why do we use consecrated oil for blessings of healing?
Consecrated grease is too hard to wash out of the hair later.

James 5:14-15 is probably the closest thing in the Bible to the current practice.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 09 Jan 2018, 21:57
by Beefster
I don't have any scriptures for it, but I have heard a few people say some things about it. I think it might have been in an Ensign article actually.

Olive oil is symbolic of the Atonement. (Connection to Gethsemane, an olive vineyard with a name that literally translates to oil press.) It's traditionally done with extra virgin olive oil, symbolizing further purity. I don't know why the second individual seals the anointing, but it's not something that's required in case of emergency. Maybe it's in reference to the separateness of the Godhead?

I wouldn't be surprised if other churches used olive oil for a similar purpose, especially looking at history. Then again, olive oil has historically been used for a lot of different things, from lighting lamps to... uhhh... lubricant.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 10 Jan 2018, 05:37
by nibbler
Theory time:

Mark 6:13: And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.

James 514-15: Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

The LDS church was a restorationist movement. I get the feeling that restorationists are predisposed to comb through scripture looking for incorrect or lost practices and teachings so they can restore them. If there's an obscure passage in the bible about anointing with oil or a passage about celestial bodies like the sun, the moon, and stars, a restorationist is going to do what restorationists do; restore the practice or come up with an explanation.

That's the impression I get from the early days of the church. There were already many questions without answers centered around obscure biblical passages, what people lacked was someone that spoke for god to give definitive answers.

Why the second person? The scripture in James pluralizes elder. Elders. Let them pray. Plus the other scripture, wherever two or three are gathered in my name. Dividing the ordinance into two stages may have been simply to give the other person something to do other than stand there.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 10 Jan 2018, 06:33
by SamBee
Yes it does happen to some extent in some churches though less commonly. In the Orthodox church it is called Chrismation.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 10 Jan 2018, 13:11
by Curt Sunshine
The Greek Orthodox Church has a number of similarities to the LDS Church that are fascinating. Healing blessings is one of those similarities.

nibbler' expnantion is spot-on, imo.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 11 Jan 2018, 15:03
by dande48
My guess, is the oil's a physical catalyst for a spiritual blessing. Most rituals make strong use of physical catalysts, to help concentrate our mind and increase our faith towards the desired outcome. Just like with the bread and water of the sacrament, or being submerged in baptism. Or with the anointing of "holy water" in Catholicism. There's really nothing special about the bread or water, but used in spiritual rite, it compounds our faith, and reinforces our ability to feel the affects and spirit of the ordinance.

The two priesthood holders also help to reinforce faith. If two people confirm you're going to get better, you're faith will increase over having just one.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 11 Jan 2018, 15:08
by Heber13
dande48 wrote:
11 Jan 2018, 15:03
Most rituals make strong use of physical catalysts, to help concentrate our mind and increase our faith towards the desired outcome. Just like with the bread and water of the sacrament, or being submerged in baptism. Or with the anointing of "holy water" in Catholicism. There's really nothing special about the bread or water, but used in spiritual rite, it compounds our faith, and reinforces our ability to feel the affects and spirit of the ordinance.
I agree with this explanation.

It then takes some level of faith to support the idea that doing it any other way is not valid. When...I'm not sure God cares, except for the exercise of faith in something (could be anything..but something).

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 11 Jan 2018, 15:50
by DancingCarrot
I think a mash-up of both nibbler's and dande's explanations is a good one.

I wouldn't be surprised if there were any ancient thoughts on the healing properties of olive oil either.

Re: Priesthood blessing of healing

Posted: 12 Jan 2018, 07:27
by SilentDawning
My guess on the sealing of the blessing is that it might have something to do with the scripture that said that Peter had the power to seal in heaven whatever he sealed on earth. So a blessing that is sealed by someone with the priesthood on earth is symbolic of affirmation/ratification of the blessing in heaven by God.

The kicker is that we all know it's roulette whether the blessings actually come to pass. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't and its often hard to make the right attribution for why they come to pass if they do.

I like what Brian Johnson said -- they comfort people, in whatever form -- as a comfort or healing blessing. And this is in ways that simple words, unattended by priesthood ceremony often don't. In that sense they have intrinsic value even though there may be no real divine innerworkings under the hood.