Second anointing

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In the Latter Day Saint movement, the second anointing, also known historically and in Latter Day Saint scripture as the fullness of the priesthood, is an obscure and relatively rare ordinance usually conducted in temples as an extension of the Nauvoo endowment ceremony. Founder Joseph Smith taught in 1844 that the function of the ordinance was to ensure salvation,[1]:189 and cited the "fulness of the priesthood" as one of the reasons for building the Nauvoo Temple.[2] 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. Those who participate in this ordinance are said to have their "calling and election made sure",[3][4] and their celestial marriage "sealed by the holy spirit of promise".[5] They are said to have received the "more sure word of prophecy", "higher blessing," or their "second endowment."[6]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the largest Latter Day Saint denomination, performed the ceremony for nominated couples from the 1840s to at least the mid-1900s,[7] and continues practicing it, though, less frequently.[8][9][10] The ordinance is also performed by many Mormon fundamentalist groups. However, it is not performed by denominations such as the Community of Christ,[11] who historically never practiced the Nauvoo endowment ceremony.

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.[12] 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.[13]

The first time a second anointing was performed was on September 28, 1843, when Smith and his wife Emma received it.[1]:189[14] During Smith's lifetime, the second anointing was performed on at least 20 men and 17 women.[15]:22–23 After Smith's death, Brigham 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.[15]:26

After migration to the Salt Lake Valley, the LDS Church did not conduct further second anointings until late 1866.[16] Beginning in the 1870s, second anointings began to be performed vicariously for dead members of the church.[15]: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".[15]:32–33 In 1901, church president Lorenzo Snow further limited accessibility to the ordinance by outlining stringent criteria for worthiness.[15]:33–34

By 1918, over 14,000 second anointings had been performed for the living and the dead.[15]: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.[15]:39–40 By 1941, just under 15,000 second anointings had been performed for the living, and just over 6,000 for the dead.[15]: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.[15]:41 By 1949, the practice had been "practically discontinued" by the LDS Church,[7] though, it still continues today for living members and vicariously for dead recipients.[17][9][18] For example, current church president Russell M. Nelson wrote in an autobiography that he received his second anointing in 1974.[19][20] 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.[21]

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.[22][23][24]
  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.[25][26] For example, the following words were used by Heber 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."[27][28][29]
  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.[15]:26–27[30][31]

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."[32]

Meaning and symbolism[edit]

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."[33]

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."[34]

The second anointing may have been intended to fulfill scriptural references to the "fulness of the priesthood", such as that in Doctrine and Covenants, ‹The template LDS is being considered for deletion.›  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 ‹The template LDS is being considered for deletion.›  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" (‹The template LDS is being considered for deletion.›  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".[35][36]

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.[37]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ ‹The template LDS is being considered for deletion.›  Doctrine and Covenants 124:28
  3. ^ Smith 1976, pp. 322–23: "The anointing and sealing is to be called, elected and made sure"
  4. ^ Doxey 1992 (discussing the result of "calling and election", but not referring to second anointing).
  5. ^ Flake 1992 (defining "holy spirit of promise").
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Buerger 1983, p. 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'".
  8. ^ Quinn 1992, Chapter 17, page 377, "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.
  9. ^ 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. pp. 42–43. Nonetheless, occasional instances of present-day anointings have occurred. Vicarious second anointings are also performed, but are less frequent.
  10. ^ 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 annointing is actually the first of two parts comprising the fullness of the priesthood ceremony.
  11. ^ Elbert A. Smith, Differences That Persist between the RLDS and LDS Churches, (1950), website accessed 2008-06-11.
  12. ^ History of the Church, 5:139–40 (August 31, 1842), speaking to the Relief Society.
  13. ^ Journal of Wilford Woodruff, August 6, 1843; also in History of the Church 5:527.[full citation needed]
  14. ^ Diary of Joseph Smith, 28 September 1843; Wilford Woodruff, Historian's Private Journal (1858), p. 24 (LDS Church archives).[full citation needed]
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Buerger 1983
  16. ^ Journal of Wilford Woodruff, December 30, 31, 1866.[full citation needed]
  17. ^ Quinn 1992, Chapter 17, page 377, "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.
  18. ^ 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 annointing is actually the first of two parts comprising the fullness of the priesthood ceremony.
  19. ^ Quinn 1992, Chapter 17, footnote 71
  20. ^ Nelson, Russell (1979). "Highlights of 1974". From Heart to Heart: An Autobiography. p. 360.
  21. ^ 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).
  22. ^ 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).
  23. ^ 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 annointing 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ 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 ....
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ Richards, Willard (11 Jan 1846). The Book of Anointings. Nauvoo, IL: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ Journal of Heber C. Kimball, 26 December 1845 (quoting Brigham Young).[full citation needed]
  34. ^ McConkie 1966, pp. 109–10
  35. ^ Smith 1976, p. 150
  36. ^ Doxey 1992, p. 248
  37. ^ Quinn 1992, chapter 17

References[edit]