Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Second Anointing

Link embedded in the title above. My comments are in [brackets]

Most people are aware of the LDS Church's expanding temple building program. To date, there are over 100 temples in operation around the world. Through the years there have been numerous published exposés of the endowment ritual. However, there is another little known ceremony given by invitation from church leadership called the Second Anointing. In order to qualify for this anointing one must have proven him/herself worthy and already participated in the endowment ceremony.

This ordinance is so rare that many good Mormons do not even know that it exists. It is done only by invitation from the president of the church, to one married couple at a time. It is performed in the Holy of Holies room of the temple by one of the apostles of the church. Those who receive this ordinance are guaranteed of their salvation and exaltation in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom. The man is anointed as "priest and king" (the wife is anointed "priestess and queen") and their "calling and election [to exaltation] is made sure." Part of the ceremony is performed by the couple in private in their own home, following instructions given during the temple ceremony, and includes the ceremonial washing of feet. One implication of the ceremony is that the recipients will have a personal visitation of Christ. In earlier days many devout Mormons received this ordinance, but since the 1920s it is extremely rare, and probably only given to those in high leadership positions in the church.

[From a personal contact who shall remain anonymous:]

It still exists. The washing and anointing of the feet is done by the prophet and the women take the temple clothes home, wash their husbands feet and give them a blessing. With a little research, I believe the only one who is to give the endowment is Christ and he was not there at mine. There were about 10 couples involved. Can you think of a better way to get someone hooked in to the organization? Packer asked if we had any questions. When my (then) husband asked a question Boyd answered: "You will know." My invitation from the prophet was burned so that I don't have evidence and I was required to sign a paper accepting the opportunity... From what I understand, if I don't spill innocent blood, including my own, the blessing holds as far as the organization is concerned. The reason I answered you is because of a friend who checks the sites [Recovery from Mormonism]and asked if I would be willing to answer you... I am looking forward to the day when the truth comes out about what goes on in the basements of the temples.

LDS researcher David Buerger pointed out:

The higher ordinance was necessary to confirm the revealed promises of "kingly powers" (i.e., godhood) received in the endowment's initiatory ordinances. Godhood was therefore the meaning of this higher ordinance, or second anointing... (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1983, p. 21).

The couple receiving their second anointing were to go to the temple, and then dress in their temple robes. On December 26, 1866, LDS Apostle Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal:

I met with The Presidency and Twelve at President Youngs Office at about 12 o’clock. The subject of the Endowments & 2d Anointings was presented when President Young said that the order of the 2nd anointing was for the persons to be anointed to be clothed in their Priestly robes the man upon the right hand and wife or wives upon the left hand. The Administrator may be dressed in his usual Clothing or in his Priestly Robes as he may see fit. The meeting should be opened by prayer then the Administrator should Anoint the man A King & Priest unto the Most High God. Then he should anoint his wife or wives Queens & Priestess unto her husband. (Wilford Woodruff's Journal, vol. 6, p.307)

On Jan. 11, 1846, Brigham Young and his wife received their second anointing. Part of their anointing reads:

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... for princes shall bow at thy feet and deliver unto thee their treasures; ...And I seal thee up unto Eternal Life,...And thou shalt attain unto [the] Eternal Godhead... that thou mayest... create worlds and redeem them; so shall thy joy be full...

Elder Heber Chase Kimble then anointed Mary An Young, a Queen & Priestess unto her husband (Brigham Young) in the Church...Sister Mary Ann Young, I pour upon thy head this holy, consecrated oil, and seal upon thee all the blessings of the everlasting priesthood, in conjunction with thy husband: and I anoint thee to be a Queen and Priestess unto thy husband,... inasmuch as thou dost obey his counsel;... And I seal thee up unto Eternal Life, thou shalt come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and inherit with him all the honors, glories, and power of Eternal Lives, and that thou shalt attain unto the eternal Godhead, so thy exaltation shall be perfect,... (Book of Anointings, as quoted in The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship, by David John Buerger, Smith Research Associates, 1994, pp. 88-90)

Originally, this ceremony seemed to be a guarantee of godhood. Mr. Buerger observed:

Because of the strict confidentiality surrounding second anointings, it is unclear precisely what long-term effect they had on recipients nor, for that matter, the degree to which the conferral of godhood was held to be conditional or unconditional. Most early nineteenth-century statements imply that the ordinance was unconditional. (The Mysteries of Godliness, p.112-3)

Today, the church leaders seem to be minimizing the importance of the second anointing and refer to it as a "special blessing" but not necessary for exaltation (godhood) (see The Mysteries of Godliness, p.165). The official LDS magazine Ensign, March 2002, p.18, emphasized the necessity of the endowment (as opposed to the second anointing) for "eternal exaltation." The article went on to state: "Obedience to the sacred covenants made in temples qualifies us for eternal life..." According to Mormonism, a person's endowment and temple marriage starts one on the road to godhood (D&C 132:20 - "Then shall they be gods"). While some Mormons emphasize that the word "gods" in the revelation is not capitalized, editions prior to 1900 have it capitalized. Also an official statement of the LDS First Presidency used the capitalized form, and declared that man's ultimate goal was to evolve "into a God." (Ensign, Feb. 2002, p. 30)

Joseph Smith taught that men had the capacity to achieve Godhood and rule their own planets. He also taught that our God was originally a mortal who achieved Godhood under the direction of another God. (see History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 305-6, 474) While Mormons say they worship only one God, they believe there are countless Gods in the universe.

[So much for the couplet, right, Mr. Hinckley?]

*My Thoughts*

This ordinance still exists, which can only mean one thing: somebody thinks it is of value to the membership of the church to continue to set aside certain married couples and invite them to receive this ‘rare’ ordinance to have their calling and election made sure.

Think about that the next time you go through the temple for some dead person and only receive the first part of the endowment, where you are only ordained to BECOME priests and kings (or priestesses and queens unto your husbands) sometime off in the future. These folks who participate in the Second Anointing, get to have their calling and election sealed in the Celestial Kingdom, and only the spilling of innocent blood can prevent them from attaining that highest level of celestial glory—the Holy of Holies.

Salt Lake City Temple Holy of Holies, where Second Anointings are performed.

No matter what you do, no matter how you raise your kids, no matter how many callings you fulfill or how much time you spend doing church work, no matter how much you tithe or how many interviews you pass to gain your temple recommend each year, unless you are a General Authority or a family member of one, you will not be given the second anointing, and you will not have your calling and election made sure, like some of the other choice souls get the privelege to do.

If you’re not living in Utah with multiple generations of Mormons on your family history sheets, if you haven’t gotten in with the upper General Authorities, or haven’t done anything special for them to notice you, they will not extend this invitation to come to the temple, receive this special reserved ordinance and ensure your place in heaven. All your efforts in the church won’t get you to the Celestial Kingdom without this ordinance, according to the prophet Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and all the way down the pike, right down to Gordon Hinckley, who you can bet has made sure his own family has received this ordinance, as well as the families of the current twelve apostles.

Isn’t it nice to know that no matter how good you are, you still won’t be good enough to get this ordinance? Try writing a letter or two to your bishop, stake president, area authority, or the first presidency about this, ask them why only a select few will receive this second anointing and what makes them so special just because they were born to General Authority members?

Kind of makes you feel like a red-headed stepchild, doesn’t it?

Actually they will probably deny that this ordinance even exists, at least your bishop might, because it's unlikely that he has ever heard of it. But the fact is, it is a documented fact that it has indeed existed at least in the early days of the church, and if it is going to be denied today, someone needs to stand up and ask how can God’s true restoration be complete if this sacred ordinance is not in practice today? And the other question is, how can a regular member ever hope to achieve it?

Recommended Reading: The Mysteries of Godliness, A History of Temple Worship

Having been to the temple I can vouch for its completeness and accuracy. Very informative, lots of documentation worth consideration. I own this book by the way, and I am about halfway through it.

I can't go back to the Mormon church knowing I will never be good enough to reach the ears of the prophet and receive the second anointing, I will forever be jumping through hoops proving my worthiness and working my ass off trying to prove myself to everyone around me, just to be included in their temple recommend club. It's completely absurd to waste your life conforming to their rules, when they can give you nothing in return, not even the promise of a golden hereafter. They can't give you what they don't have.


Anonymous said...

This ordinance does exist today, does occur to people outside of Utah and does occur to normal, faitful saints who are not general authorities. I pray for all to seek after Christ and seek this blessing through the authority of his living prophets.

Arelius said...

Your post is hogwash. You state that, "unless you are a General Authority or a family member of one, you will not be given the second anointing."

I personally know people who are rank and file that have received their second anointing.

The second anointing is a great incentive to righteous living. However, it is not the only way to receive salvation.

Elder Bruce McConkie said, "What you have to do is stay in the mainstream of the Church - keeping commandments, paying your tithing, serving in the organizations of the Church, loving the Lord, staying on the straight and narrow path. If you're on that path when death comes - because this is the time and the day appointed, this the probationary estate - you'll never fall off from it, and, for all practical purposes, your calling and election is made sure."

Jenni Rice said...

Wow! As a former member of the mormon church, I have just started reading the "real" stuff out there. As a memember we are told we should not read the anti-mormon literature, as it is of satan and will poison our minds. Really? Maybe it will give us the truth. I left the church by listening to my inner voice. At that time I had been doing the entire "checklist" of things to earn my way to the celestial kingdom for 14 years. And I found myself more miserable than I ever thought I could be. I had never heard of the 2nd annointing before until about a week ago. It is hard to wrap my mind around, still, to think that anyone would ever be given a free pass to do as they wish as long as they don't deny the holy ghost. Imagine what kind of evil might be going on in the upper levels of the church since they are all in the secret club and they have each given the others the carte blanche pass to do as they wish.

If you haven't done so, I recommend reading "Wife No. 19" by Brigham Young's apostate wife. Written in the 1800's it is interesting to see another perspective of church history. It hardly resembles the lovely package the Mormon Church presents today. Even if only a portion of Ms. Young's account is accurate, it is not a pretty picture.

Anonymous said...

As a member of the church, I am shocked that the 2nd anointing has found its way onto the internet. Just for your information, this ordinance is more common than you may think. It happens all the time and is not restricted to members or family members of the general authorities.

Observer said...

My faith is such that I believe this ordinance still exists; and is likely of great comfort to those who have been stalwart, charitable, and obedient. But it is only the Atonement of Christ that makes it possible. I am personally terrified of ever getting this 'far' in my progression during mortality. The responsibility scares me to death. I have committed sins that will prevent me from EVER having to worry about it though (in this life anyway.) This is a serious regret because it means, like all of us- I have foreclosed some aspects of my mortal potential for temporary and really stupid choices. And I will continue to 'hunger and thirst' after righteousness and pray to feel at peace with my standing before the Lord. But if I ever get too comfortable, that's probably pride at work. So I'll just keep on keeping on. For reasons I don't know, the Lord has chosen to commit certain knowledge to a very small segment of the world's population; probably to help establish the conditions for His second coming. I'll do what I can. I have had experiences I can't deny. Not merely emotional; not actually physical- but so real I can't turn back. Nothing of this level, of course. Anyway, not sure why I wrote all of that. Just felt like letting someone know that I believe it. May the 'peace that passeth understanding' attend us as we attempt to 'be examples of the believers;' minister to those who 'receive not the love of truth' and 'answer every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear.' That's my plan anyway. Cheers.