Second anointing

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In the Latter Day Saint movement the second anointing is the pinnacle ordinance of the temple and an extension of the endowment ceremony.[1][2] Founder Joseph Smith taught that the function of the ordinance was to ensure salvation, guarantee exaltation, and confer godhood.[3][4][5] In the ordinance, a participant is anointed as a "priest and king" or a "priestess and queen", and is sealed to the highest degree of salvation available in Mormon theology.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Mormonism's largest denomination, the ordinance is currently only given in secret to a few select couples chosen by top leaders.[6] The LDS Church regularly performed the ceremony for nominated couples from the 1840s to the 1920s, and continued less regularly into the 1940s.[7]:40 By 1941, about 15,000 second anointings had been performed for the living, and over 6,000 for the dead.[7]:41 The practice became much less common thereafter,[8] but continues to this day,[9][10][11] though, presently most LDS adherents are unaware of the ritual’s existence.[12] The ordinance is also performed by many Mormon fundamentalist groups. However, it is not performed by denominations such as the Community of Christ (formerly RLDS), who historically did not practice the Nauvoo endowment ceremony.[13][14][15]

History[edit]

Although Joseph Smith introduced the Nauvoo endowment in 1842, he stated that his work in establishing the "fullness of the priesthood" was not yet complete.[16] In August 1843, church apostle Brigham Young stated that "[i]f any in the Church had the fullness of the priesthood, he did not know it". Young understood that the "fullness of the priesthood" involved an anointing as "king and priest", with the actual kingdom to be given after resurrection.[17]

The first time a second anointing was performed was on September 28, 1843, when Smith and his wife Emma received it.[18]:189[19] During Smith's lifetime, the second anointing was performed on at least 20 men and 17 women.[7]:22–23 After Smith's death, Young was selected by the majority of Latter Day Saints as the church's leader, and in January 1846, he began administering the second anointing in the nearly completed Nauvoo Temple. Young re-administered the ordinance to many of those who had received it under Smith, and he delegated his authority to others, who performed nearly 600 second anointings (some to polygamous unions) before the temple was closed on February 7, 1846.[7]:26

After migration to the Salt Lake Valley, the LDS Church did not conduct further second anointings until late 1866.[20] Beginning in the 1870s, second anointings began to be performed vicariously for dead members of the church.[7]:30 In the 1880s, church president John Taylor was concerned that too many second anointings were being performed, and he instituted a series of procedural safeguards, requiring recommendation by a stake president, and a guideline that the ordinance "belonged particularly to old men".[7]:32–33 In 1901, church president Lorenzo Snow further limited accessibility to the ordinance by outlining stringent criteria for worthiness.[7]:33–34

By 1918, over 14,000 second anointings had been performed for the living and the dead.[7]:39 During the administration of Heber J. Grant in the 1920s, the frequency of second anointings was dramatically reduced. Stake presidents were no longer permitted to recommend candidates for the ordinance; rather, recommendations could only be made by members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.[7]:39–40 By 1941, just under 15,000 second anointings had been performed for the living, and just over 6,000 for the dead.[7]:41 The church has not allowed historians to have access to second anointing records subsequent to 1941; therefore, the current frequency of second anointings is unknown. It is known that in 1942, 13 of the church's 32 general authorities had not received the second anointing.[7]:41 By 1949, the practice had been "practically discontinued" by the LDS Church, but continues to this day.[9][10][11] For example, current church president Russell M. Nelson wrote in an autobiography that he received his second anointing in 1974.[21]:Footnote 71[22] The modern Latter-Day Saint practice is kept absolutely secret and is only given to a very small number of adherents, usually after a lifetime of loyal service to the church.[6]

Ceremony[edit]

According to 19th-century journal entries and contemporary sources, the LDS second anointing ceremony consists of three parts:

  1. Prayer and Washing - First the couple and an officiator or two participate in a prayer circle (conducted by the husband) in a dedicated temple room, and then a male officiator washes only the husband's feet.[23][24][25]
  2. Anointing - Next the officiator anoints the husband as a king and priest to God, and then anoints the wife as a queen and priestess to her husband.[26][27] For example, the following words were used by Heber C. Kimball during the second anointing of Brigham Young in the Nauvoo temple in 1846: "Brother Brigham Young, I pour this holy consecrated oil upon your head and anoint thee a king and a priest of the most high God, over the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and unto all Israel. ... And I seal thee up unto eternal life, that thou shalt come forth in the morn of the first resurrection ... and thou shalt attain unto the eternal Godhead and receive a fulness of joy, and glory, and power; and that thou mayest do all things whatsoever is wisdom that thou shouldst do, even if it be to create worlds and redeem them."[28][29][30]
  3. Washing of the Husband - Later, at home in private, the husband dedicates the house and room, then the wife symbolically prepares her husband for his death and resurrection as his priestess by washing and anointing the husband's feet and then laying her hands on his head to give a blessing.[7]:26–27[31][32]

Before 1846 the woman was also anointed as a "priestess unto God," but Brigham Young changed the ceremony and readministered the rite such that the wife would now be a "queen and priestess unto thine husband." The woman would also be exalted through her husband instead of through God, but only if she "dost obey [her husband’s] counsel."[33]

Meaning and symbolism[edit]

Those who participate in the second anointing ordinance are said to have received the "fullness of the priesthood" and have their "calling and election made sure",[34] and their celestial marriage "sealed by the holy spirit of promise".[35] They are said to have received the "more sure word of prophecy", "higher blessing," or their "second endowment."[2]

The "first anointing" refers to the washing and anointing part of the endowment ceremony, in which a person is anointed to become a king and priest or a queen and priestess unto God. In the second anointing, on the other hand, participants are anointed as a king and priest, or queen and priestess. When the anointing is given, according to Brigham Young, the participant "will then have received the fulness of the Priesthood, all that can be given on earth."[36]

The "first anointing" promises blessings in the afterlife contingent on the patron's faithfulness, while the second anointing actually bestows those blessings. According to prominent 20th-century LDS Church apostle Bruce R. McConkie, those who have their calling and election made sure "receive the more sure word of prophecy, which means that the Lord seals their exaltation upon them while they are yet in this life. ... [T]heir exaltation is assured."[37]

The second anointing may have been intended to fulfill scriptural references to the "fulness of the priesthood", such as that in Doctrine and Covenants, Doctrine and Covenants 124:28, a revelation by Joseph Smith commanding the building of a temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, in part, because "there is not a place found on earth that he may come to and restore again that which was lost unto you, or which he hath taken away, even the fulness of the priesthood" (emphasis added). LDS Church leaders have connected this ordinance with a statement by Peter in his second Epistle. In 2 Peter 1:10, he talks about making one's "calling and election sure," and further remarks, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy" (2 Peter 1:19). Smith referenced this process in saying, "When the Lord has thoroughly proved [a person], and finds that the [person] is determined to serve Him at all hazards, then the [person] will find his calling and election made sure".[38]:150[39]

The second anointing is performed only on married couples. A few writers have argued that because of this, women who receive the second anointing, in which they are anointed queens and priestesses, are ordained to the "fulness of the priesthood" in the same manner as their husbands. These scholars suggest that Smith may have considered these women to have, in fact, received the power of the priesthood, though not necessarily a specific priesthood office.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blythe, Christopher James (May 2011). Recreating Religion: The Response to Joseph Smith Innovations in the Second Prophetic Generation of Mormonism (MA). Utah State University. p. 31. [Alpheus] Cutler was among the few trusted followers of Joseph Smith to receive their endowments during the Mormon Prophet’s lifetime. And when Smith revealed the pinnacle ordinance of Mormonism, the second anointing, Cutler was the sixth person to receive it—on November 15, 1843, a week before the president of the quorum of twelve apostles, Brigham Young, received his second anointing. Through this ceremony, Joseph Smith ordained Cutler to the office of king and priest, a position that contained the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
  2. ^ a b Buerger, David John (1983). "The Fulness of the Priesthood": The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16. p. 11. [E]ven faithful temple-goers, know little of the capstone of the endowment: receiving the 'fulness of the priesthood' through the 'second anointing,' an ordinance also sometimes referred to as the 'other endowment,' 'second endowment,' 'second blessing,' 'higher blessings,' etc.
  3. ^ Prince, Greg (15 August 1995). "Ordinances: The Second Anointing". Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. pp. 189, 191. ISBN 978-1560850717. On 10 March 1844 Smith delivered a discourse on the subject of Elijah in which he gave his most complete explanation of the second anointing. He said ... [t]he function of the ordinance was to assure salvation ... Other ordinances considered essential for exaltation were generally held to be conditional—that is, the ordinance enabled exaltation, but the subsequent righteousness of the recipient secured it. By contrast, the second anointing guaranteed one’s exaltation, and thus may be viewed as the crowning ordinance of Smith’s ministry.
  4. ^ Buerger, David John (1983). "'The Fulness of the Priesthood': The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16 (1): 21, 36–37. Godhood was therefore the meaning of this higher ordinance, or second anointing, for the previously revealed promises in Doctrine and Covenants 132:19–26 implicitly referred not to those who had been sealed in celestial marriage but to those who had been sealed and ordained 'kings and priests,' 'queens and priestesses' to God. ... [I]t is not known to what degree the conferral of godhood by the second anointing was held to be conditional or unconditional. Most of the earliest nineteenth-century comments explicitly dealing with the second anointing clearly imply that the ordinance was then held to be unconditional. ... The unconditional promise of exaltation in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom as gods and goddesses inherent in this priesthood sealing ordinance of Elijah was weighty indeed ....
  5. ^ Buerger, David J. (15 December 2002). "Joseph Smith's Ritual". The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Signature Books. p. 89. ISBN 978-1560851769. Brother Brigham Young, I [Heber C. Kimball] pour this holy consecrated oil upon your head and anoint thee a king and a priest of the most high God ... And I seal thee up unto eternal life, that thou shalt ... attain unto the eternal Godhead and receive a fulness of joy, and glory, and power; and that thou mayest do all things ... even if it be to create worlds and redeem them.
  6. ^ a b Kramer, Bradley H. (2014). Keeping the Sacred: Structured Silence in the Enactment of Priesthood Authority, Gendered Worship, and Sacramental Kinship in Mormonism (PDF) (PhD). University of Michigan. p. 33. The public/open secrecy of temple-work in general stands in contrast to the actual and absolute secrecy of one particular feature of its ritual corpus: the ordinance known variously as the Second Anointing (or Second Anointings), second endowment, or the Fullness of the Priesthood. The blessings of this ordinance are conferred onto only a very small number of Mormons, usually after the better part of a lifetime of faithful and loyal service. ... These rites are a closed, absolute secret. Only those Mormons considered most trustworthy by high Church leadership are invited to participate, and they are expressly instructed not to disclose anything about the ordinance, including their own participation in it, to anyone, including family (only married couples participate in the rite).
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Buerger, David John (1983). "'The Fulness of the Priesthood': The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16 (1).
  8. ^ Buerger, David John (1983). ""The Fulness of the Priesthood": The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16 (1): 42. Judging from his remarks seven years later, however, in a 1949 letter presented to the Council of the First Presidency and Twelve, [George F.] Richards still express frustration: 'For a long time I felt that I would like to express to you the disappointment I feel in that we have practically discontinued the administration of Second Anointing in the church'.
  9. ^ a b Quinn, D. Michael (1992). "17. Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843". In Hanks, Maxine (ed.). Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. p. 377. ISBN 1-56085-014-0. Currently some women have received this 'fullness of the priesthood' with their husbands. In the Salt Lake temple, the second anointing still occurs in the 'Holy of Holies' room which James E. Talmage wrote 'is reserved for the higher ordinances in the Priesthood...' The second anointing for both men and women is distinct from ordination to church priesthood offices.
  10. ^ a b Buerger, David John (1983). ""The Fulness of the Priesthood": The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16 (1): 42–43. Nonetheless, occasional instances of present-day anointings have occurred. Vicarious second anointings are also performed, but are less frequent.
  11. ^ a b Buerger, David J. (15 December 2002). "Joseph Smith's Ritual". The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Signature Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1560851769. In practice today the second anointing is actually the first of two parts comprising the fullness of the priesthood ceremony.
  12. ^ Brooke, John L. (31 May 1996). The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology, 1644-1844. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 294. ISBN 978-0521565646. The frequency of second anointings declined after the turn of the century, and they were virtually eliminated under the authority of Heber J. Grant in the 1920s, to the point that modern Mormons are generally unaware of the rituals existence ....
  13. ^ Rich, Ben E. (5 August 2018). "The 'Reorganized' Church vs. Salvation for the Dead by Joseph F. Smith, Jr. 1905". Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, Vol. 1: Religious Tracts (Classic Reprint ed.). London, UK: Forgotten Books. p. 82. ISBN 1331622212.
  14. ^ Compilation of General Conference Resolutions, 1852-1907. Lamoni, IA: Board of Publication of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 1908. p. 82–83. Adopted April 9, 1886 ... No. 308 ... 3. ... That as to the alleged 'temple building and ceremonial endowments therein,' that we know of no temple building, except as edifices wherein to worship God, and no endowment except the endowment of the Holy Spirit of the kind experienced by the early saints on Pentecost Day.
  15. ^ Smith, Elbert A. (1949). Differences That Persist Between the RLDS and the Utah Mormon Church (PDF). Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House. p. 12. In the Kirtland Temple of the Reorganized Church, there are no secret meetings of any kind, no secret rites, ceremonies, oaths, or practices. All meetings are open to the public, and no parts of the building are closed to the public; everything may be visited under guide service. ... Not one of the sacraments and ordinances ... is secret. Their nature may be freely revealed to the world. They are not guarded by secret oaths or obligations or secret covenants.
  16. ^ History of the Church, 5:139–40 (August 31, 1842), speaking to the Relief Society.
  17. ^ Journal of Wilford Woodruff, August 6, 1843; also in History of the Church 5:527.[full citation needed]
  18. ^ Prince, Greg (15 August 1995). "Ordinances: The Second Anointing". Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 978-1560850717.
  19. ^ Diary of Joseph Smith, 28 September 1843; Wilford Woodruff, Historian's Private Journal (1858), p. 24 (LDS Church archives).[full citation needed]
  20. ^ Journal of Wilford Woodruff, December 30, 31, 1866.[full citation needed]
  21. ^ a b Quinn, D. Michael (1992). "17. Mormon Women Have Had the Priesthood Since 1843". In Hanks, Maxine (ed.). Women and Authority: Re-emerging Mormon Feminism. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. ISBN 1-56085-014-0.
  22. ^ Nelson, Russell (1979). "Highlights of 1974". From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography. p. 360.
  23. ^ Hammond, Elizabeth (2 November 2015). "The Mormon Priestess: A Theology of Womanhood in the LDS Temple". In Brooks, Joanna; Hunt Steenblik, Rachel; Wheelwright, Hannah (eds.). Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0190248031. The second anointing comprises the ordinances in which the promised blessings of the temple endowment are sealed as binding. First, a prayer circle is conducted by the husband. A General Authority washes the feet of the husband (to cleanse him from "the blood and sins of this generation," a blessing unique to men).
  24. ^ Buerger, David J. (15 December 2002). "Joseph Smith's Ritual". The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Signature Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1560851769. In practice today the second anointing is actually the first of two parts comprising the fullness of the priesthood ceremony. ... First, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles or First Presidency recommends a couple to the president of the church. ... The first part—being anointed and ordained a king and priest or queen and priestess—is administered in a temple Holy of Holies or a sealing room .... There are usually but not always two witnesses. Only husband and wife need to dress in temple robes. The husband leads in a prayer circle, offering signs and prayers at an altar.
  25. ^ Buerger, David John (1983). "The Fulness of the Priesthood": The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 16. pp. 42–43. [T]oday it is understood that if the Church president does not perform the ceremony, he ordinarily must be present in the room while it is done by a designated individual .... The policy of the Church president calling up candidates to receive the second anointing still continues. In the past the ordinance typically was held in a special room called the Holy of Holies .... At present, any room in a temple specifically set apart for the purpose will suffice.
  26. ^ Hammond, Elizabeth (2 November 2015). "The Mormon Priestess: A Theology of Womanhood in the LDS Temple". In Brooks, Joanna; Hunt Steenblik, Rachel; Wheelwright, Hannah (eds.). Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 286. ISBN 978-0190248031. The husband is anointed as King and Priest unto the Most High God, and the wife is anointed as Queen and Priestess to her husband. ... The anointing rite parallels the original Initiatories in both content and form.
  27. ^ Buerger, David J. (15 December 2002). "Joseph Smith's Ritual". The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Signature Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1560851769. He is then anointed ... and he is ordained a king and a priest .... This ordinance gives him the fullness of the priesthood. He is also blessed with ... the Holy Spirit of Promise ... [and] to attain godhood .... Next the wife is anointed ... and she is ordained a queen and priestess unto her husband ....
  28. ^ Buerger, David J. (15 December 2002). "Joseph Smith's Ritual". The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Signature Books. p. 88. ISBN 978-1560851769.
  29. ^ Richards, Willard (11 Jan 1846). The Book of Anointings. Nauvoo, IL: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  30. ^ Brown, Lisle G (25 January 2006). Nauvoo Sealings, Adoptions, And Anointings: A Comprehensive Register of Persons Receiving LDS Temple Ordinances 1841-1846. Signature Books. ISBN 1560851988.
  31. ^ Hammond, Elizabeth (2 November 2015). "The Mormon Priestess: A Theology of Womanhood in the LDS Temple". In Brooks, Joanna; Hunt Steenblik, Rachel; Wheelwright, Hannah (eds.). Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 286–287. ISBN 978-0190248031. The wife performs a ceremonial washing and anointing of the husband's feet .... Later, the Priestess-wife lays hands on her husband's head to administer a blessing ... an extemporaneous pronouncement.
  32. ^ Buerger, David J. (15 December 2002). "Joseph Smith's Ritual". The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Signature Books. p. 66. ISBN 978-1560851769. At the conclusion of this ordinance, the washing of the husband's feet by his wife is explained to the couple. It is a private ordinance, without witnesses. ... At the determined time the husband dedicates the home and the room in which they perform the ordinance .... [S]he washes and anoints the body of her husband .... The ordinance symbolically prepares the husband for burial, and in this way the wife lays claim upon him in the resurrection.
  33. ^ Hanks, Maxine (25 February 2019). "LDS Women's Authority and the Temple: A Feminist FHE Discussion with Maxine Hanks" (PDF). Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. 52 (1): 71.
  34. ^ Smith, Joseph Fielding, ed. (1976). Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Deseret Book Co. pp. 322–323. ISBN 0-87747-626-8. OCLC 22984603. The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure.
  35. ^ Flake, Lawrence R. (1992). "Holy Spirit of Promise". In Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan Publishing. p. 651. ISBN 0-02-879602-0. OCLC 24502140.
  36. ^ Journal of Heber C. Kimball, 26 December 1845 (quoting Brigham Young).[full citation needed]
  37. ^ McConkie, Bruce R. (1966) [1958]. Mormon Doctrine (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City: Bookcraft. pp. 109–10. ISBN 0-88494-062-4. OCLC 1129018.
  38. ^ Smith, Joseph Fielding, ed. (1976). Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Deseret Book Co. ISBN 0-87747-626-8. OCLC 22984603.
  39. ^ Doxey, Roy W. (1992). "Calling and Election". In Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.). Encyclopedia of Mormonism. New York: Macmillan Publishing. p. 248. ISBN 0-02-879602-0. OCLC 24502140.