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In the Epistle of James, we read: “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” (James 5:14). In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we use pure olive oil to anoint and bless the sick. This function is performed by males who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.
The oil that is used in the anointing must have been consecrated at some point prior to the time of the blessing. To consecrate means “to declare sacred.” The LDS Church website (www.lds.org) gives the following instructions for consecrating oil:
One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may consecrate pure olive oil and set it apart for the purpose of anointing the sick. No other oil may be used.
To consecrate oil, a priesthood bearer:
- Holds an open container of olive oil.
- Addresses our Heavenly Father.
- States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Consecrates the oil for the blessing and anointing of the sick.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
After oil is consecrated, it can be used at any point in the future for the anointing and blessing of the sick. Administering to the sick is also performed by Melchizedek Priesthood holders. Usually two bearers of the Melchizedek priesthood perform the ordinance. One will anoint the head of the sick person with the consecrated oil. The other will then seal the anointing and give a blessing. Again, the LDS Church website contains instructions on how this is done.
- Puts a small amount of oil on the person’s head.
- Places his hands on the person’s head and calls the person by name.
- States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- States that he is anointing with consecrated oil.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
Sealing the Anointing:
- Calls the sick person by name.
- States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
- Seals the anointing.
- Pronounces a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.
- Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
Elijah was the last prophet to hold the sealing power of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the power to bind in heaven ordinances performed on earth, before the time of Jesus Christ. Elijah came to the Mount of Transfiguration to confer the sealing power upon Peter, James, and John. In order to do so, he needed his physical body, since spirits cannot lay hands on mortal beings (See Doctrine and Covenants 129:8).
It’s interesting to note that Elijah also came to earth to confer this same sealing power to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836 (See Doctrine and Covenants 110:13-16). At this time, however, he came as a resurrected being, since he was with Christ in his resurrection (See Doctrine and Covenants 133:55).
To sin is to do something contrary to the will of the Lord. It is to be willfully disobedient. Transgression, on the other hand, is the violation of a law or rule that may or may not be against the will of the Lord. Thus, all sins are transgressions but not all transgressions are sins.
Sin is breaking a law with knowledge that a law is being broken. Adam didn’t have knowledge of good and evil before partaking of the forbidden fruit, so his act was a transgression of the law, not a sin against the law.
The Bible clearly notes a difference between sin and transgression
- Psalms 25:7 -> “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.”
- Joshua 24:19 -> “And Joshua said unto the people, Ye cannot serve the Lord: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins.”
The first mention of sin in the Bible is in regards to Cain.
Genesis 4:6-7 -> “And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.”
Adam and Eve’s partaking of the forbidden fruit is referred to as transgression.
Romans 5:14 -> “Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.”
Yesterday, my home teacher came by and shared an inspirational story with us. I liked the message it delivered so much that I decided to share it with the family that I home teach and you as well.
The story goes that two friends were walking through the desert.
During some point of the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face.
The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, he wrote in the sand:
Today my best friend slapped me in the face.
They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath.
The one who had been slapped got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him.
After he recovered from the near drowning, he wrote on a stone:
Today my best friend saved my life.
The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him,
After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand and now you write on a stone. Why?
The other friend replied:
When someone hurts us we should write it down in the sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. But when someone does something good for us, we must engrave it in a stone where no wind can ever erase it.
My Thoughts On This Story:
The Stone – Remember the good that people do to you. It can perpetuate in your behavior and influence those around you.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
The Sand – Forgiveness is a divine attribute we can practice, as Jesus Christ does. We draw closer to Heavenly Father as we learn to forgive those around us. We cannot expect to receive forgiveness for our sins unless the same be freely given. See Matthew 18:23-35 about the King, Servant and Fellowservant. Forgive your debtors – those who trespass against you.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)
Earlier this month, my wife and I had the opportunity to go to the temple and get our endowments and sealed together…on the same day!
It was quite and experience and I tried to prepare by taking the whole prior week off to not worry about work and to read the Book of Mormon and spend time with my family. After all, I was thinking, that I will be able to spend time and all eternity with my children, who are gifts from Heavenly Father, to raise, love and teach the gospel to.
It was like a first wedding for ourselves as well. When we were younger, we tied the knot in a drive through wedding chapel in Las Vegas!
We had people from our ward there, the Brother and Sister who were there as Ward Missionary Leaders to host us and have the Missionaries teach us the discussions. Our Bishop, who I admire greatly for his example he sets and his hard work and love he pours upon the people of his Ward. Our friends that we’ve made in the 21 months we’ve been going to Church. Our friends that I have from work, who are coincidentally members of the church as well and instrumental to our growth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The day was perfect for us. It was gloomy and rainy in Las Vegas, just how we’d hope our wedding day would have been. We met my friends, Joey and Sabrina, and Mike and Crystal. I felt guided the whole time I was in the temple, by the brethren who are there to make me feel welcomed and help me learn.
There was a lot to take in and we definitely need to go back many, many more times to figure things out. Because we were doing our endowments and sealing the same day, we were whisked away to the Sealing room to be married forever just as soon as we made it to the Celestial room of the Temple.
It was a great feeling to be in the House of the Lord among friends, whom I consider family. I urge those who have not yet made it to the temple to go as soon as you can. There are blessings to be had by attending.
Since my last post, I’ve been doing great! I feel that I have been blessed with a wonder wife, precious children and great friends. About two weeks ago while thinking I was going to work through the night, I had the impression to call my wife up and ask her to go get our temple recommends.
We showed up unannounced at our church thinking it was going to take 15 minutes like I’ve also heard in Priesthood it would take.
It looks like if it’s your first time for a temple recommend the Bishop would take extra time to talk and meet with you about it. We found that out as I waited for my wife for about 45 minutes with my kids. We also had delayed a Bishopric meeting that they were going to have, but the brethren didn’t seem to mind too much as they were hanging out and having a good time.
After my wife came out of his office, it was my turn and it took about 20 minutes or so as he talked to me. We have our temple recommends signed by ourselves and our Bishop and we now only need to meet with our Stake President. Our Bishop also wanted to meet with us again to talk about things with us as a couple that Sunday.
That Sunday evening we met with our Bishop and talked about some wonderful things. Afterwards, I called on Sunday to make an appointment with the Stake President but never heard back from the Stake Secretary.
That Monday morning I spoke with my boss about getting a week off since I have been working non stop, six days a week, since the beginning of the year…and “I was going to get remarried to my wife…sealed in the Temple.” I wanted to spend time with my children, to study the scriptures and ponder things and concentrate on spiritual things.
My wife called on Wednesday to see if we could get a hold of him. He told her that he would call her back on Friday so we could meet with the Stake President on Saturday.
It was a long week.
Friday came and gone without a call. Saturday came and I anxiously awaited until about 10am. I then called him and left a message. I never heard back from him until about 6pm. I was worried the whole day thinking he had forgotten about us and that we wouldn’t be able to go and get our Endowments and Sealing next Saturday. And that I’d have a whole week of time off of work to feel disappointed.
Since he finally called back, tomorrow morning at 9am we have an appointment with our Stake President and I am excited that we are a step closer to things.
I am glad that I am writing this post, because it just occurred to me that it would be a good idea to bring our recommends in for him to sign!
I am greatful for the blessings in my life.
At times I questioned myself if I can answer those temple recommend interview questions with no issues. I remember the last time I went for a temporary temple recommend interview back in March for Baptisms for the Dead. I caught myself being harsh when asked questions. I attribute it to judging ourselves and we are our own worse judge. My Bishop agreed.
I often find myself self-interviewing on one particular question:
Are you kind to your family members?
Am I? What does that mean? It means, do I treat them as Christ would during the good times and the bad times? Do I display patience with my family at all times? Am I a good Father and Husband?
For a while, I was in a cycle of confusion and this is how it went:
I feel like I am in a deep hole, looking upwards at the sky and that I can’t make it out.I feel that my family deserves better than I have given in the past. I have only been at it for over 18 months and I thought I was changing. I’m not sure sometimes. At times I feel like I really have changed.I am not always patient or soft spoken in stressful situations. I seem to let the worst come out of me only in front of my spouse and children. In my early twenties, I picked up the bad habbit of swearing. My language has cleaned up over the past 18 months but I have those moments of relapse.
I expect so much from my family (from expecting the same strictness that I had to follow when I was younger) at times that it only leads me to anger and fits of yelling when things aren’t going well.
I’ve been taught that true conversion happens over time. Am I converted? Am I converted enough?
Could I stand tall with my fellow brethren who are temple recommend holders?
Every Sunday, I feel energized and I believe that I can climb my way out of this deep hole.I realize to myself that I cannot be perfect and Christ-like at all times. That is why we have the atonement.I am thankful for the atonement and the fact that Jesus Christ took upon himself my sins, my sadness and my pain. I am thankful for the ordinance of Sacrament where I can renew my baptismal covenants and be forgiven for my short comings. During Sacrament, I feel true sorrow and pain. I then feel forgiven and my burdens lifted away.
I love the feeling of being clean and renewed for another week.
I pray for long suffering, patience, being a good example for my children and to be a better Father and Husband.
I love feeling I can start over with myself and my family.
I feel like the moment that I slip, no matter how high I have made it I fall to the bottom of that deep hole and I have to start over. Maybe I’ve raised my voice to my kids or handle a stressful situation very poorly. When growing up, my parents were very strict and always yelled. I see myself doing that sometimes. I see my oldest son yelling at his brothers sometimes and I see myself in him and I become deeply saddened.With the atonement comes repentance. I truly feel sorry for the mistakes and actions that make me feel like I am not kind enough to my family. But true repentance means taking steps to not do it again and then, not do it!
But when I falter I feel like I have failed at repentance. I take my prior transgressions from the week before and add it on to this week as well. That deep hole is getting even deeper.
What if it has been months that I feel I’ve been doing a good job and then I mess up by losing my temper and swear up a storm and scream and yell?
When do I become better? How long do I go without slipping before I can answer “Yes” to the question “Are you kind to your family members?” It can’t be one week. A Month? Two Months?
How can I live higher laws if I cannot live these lower laws?
Am I ever going to make it to the Temple?
Go to back to Despair
I feel like I have finally broken out of this confusing cycle by realizing that during this journey of life every day we build ourselves up to be much more righteous and when we falter we have the atonement and repentance to lift ourselves up and try again. As long as we are on the upward climb we are doing well.
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times that by doing in faith the following: Daily prayer, scripture reading, and keeping our minds constantly on the Savior Jesus Christ and the Savior make a very, very large difference.
This year, I missed the October 2008 General Conference Priesthood session because I was on vacation in San Luis Obispo, CA and had trouble finding a Stake Center. I knew I should have waved down the missionaries on the bikes one of the many times I saw them but I was concentrating on driving in unfamiliar territory.
I had the Saturday and Sunday sessions Tivo’d while I was away at least. I’m not sure why the General Conference Priesthood session is not available in video on the lds.org General Conference Gospel Library, but I assume it is for a good reason.
I finally got to sit down with my November 2008 Ensign magazine and I went straight to the Priesthood Session talks. The first one was by Elder Richard G. Scott Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
His talk was entitled “Honor the Priesthood and Use It Well.” I’ve heard the saying “Honor the Priesthood” before and this pertains to setting standards for ones self and making sure that we, as Priesthood Holders, are worthy to exercise our privileged authority at any given moment.
I love how he implores us to give ourselves a personal worthiness interview and ask ourselves the following questions:
- Are your private, personal thoughts conducive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, or would they benefit from a thorough housecleaning?
- Do you nourish your mind with elevating material, or have you succumbed to the enticement of pornographic literature or Web sites?
- Do you scrupulously avoid the use of stimulants and substances that conflict with the intent of the Word of Wisdom, or have you made some personally rationalized exceptions?
- Are you most careful to control what enters your mind through your eyes and ears to ensure that it is wholesome and elevating?
- If you are divorced, do you provide for the real financial need of the children you have fathered, not just the minimum legal requirement?
- If you are married, are you faithful to your wife mentally as well as physically?
- Are you loyal to your marriage covenants by never engaging in conversation with another woman that you wouldn’t want your wife to overhear?
- Are you kind and supportive of your own wife and children?
- Do you assist your wife by doing some of the household chores?
- Do you lead out in family activities such as scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening, or does your wife fill in the gap your lack of attention leaves in the home?
- Do you tell her you love her?
Now hopefully we can all answer yes to these questions. But before we can do so, we should take these questions and turn them into directives for our lives. Just as in the Boy Scout’s Slogan “Do a good turn daily,” we should turn these questions into our slogan or motto for our daily lives.
I feel that if we ask these questions to ourselves every night and strive from the moment we wake up every morning to answer “yes” to these questions we will become better in our role and responsibility to serving the families that we love so dearly.
Elder Scott’s talk speaks more about treating the daughters (mothers, sisters and daughters) of Heavenly Father with love and kindness. And that:
God will hold us accountable for how we treat His precious daughters.
I’d like to take this a step further and apply this to our Fathers, brothers and sons as well. We are charged by Heavenly Father to take care of one another. We must gauge ourselves with these personal worthiness interview questions often and keep in mind that we are all children of Heavenly Father. Doing so will bring us closer to emulating the perfect role model, Jesus Christ.
Click here to read Elder Richard G. Scott’s Talk in the November 2008 Ensign online.
In 1995 a Proclamation to the World was given by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We…solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
In the year 2000, California voters passed a law saying that a marriage in California is between a man and a woman.
Earlier this year, four judges based in San Francisco wrongly overturned the people’s vote, legalizing same-sex marriage. Why is this so important?
Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness is under attack! He has a plan for the happiness of all who live on the earth. The birth of children in loving families is central to His plan. The first commandment He gave to Adam and Eve was:
Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 1:28)
Further more, in the Proclamation to the World, it states:
The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.
The Lord spoke to Moses concerning homosexuality:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination (Leviticus 20:13)
Besides being against Heavenly Father’s plan, same sex marriage has grave consequences. Public schools are required to teach the role of marriage in society as part of the curriculum. Schools will now be required to teach students that gay marriage is the same as traditional marriage, starting with kindergartners, our very young children. By saying that a marriage is between “any two persons” rather than between a man and a woman. Marriage is something sacred between a man and a woman and should not be taken casually.
Another issue, as Parents, we have a right to teach children about relationships according to their own values and beliefs. When Massachusetts had legalized gay marriage, schools began teaching young children that boys can marry other boys. The courts ruled that parents had no right to object.
See how it is affecting children at school here in this video: click here.
Information and Links on this issue:
If you are in California, you must vote YES on Proposition 8! If you are not in California and know someone who is, please let them know why this measure is so important.
Soon after you are baptized, you will receive a calling in your Ward. A calling is an assignment, usually in a Ward where you help it run smoothly and serve each other.
Since I’ve been a member a little over a year, I’ve held a few callings: Assistant Cub Master, Cub Master, Webelos Leader and Ward Website Administrator.
I admit that I struggled with my first two callings two the point where I felt like I failed in the end. Shortly after, I realized why this was. Here are some things I’ve learned about callings:
Examples of Church Callings
- Bishopric (Bishop and his two Counselors)
- Elders Quorum Presidency
- Relief Society Presidency
- Ward Clerk (Finance and Membership)
- Ward Bulletin Editor
- Ward Librarian
- Sunday School Teacher
- Nursery Worker
- Piano / Organ Player
- Cub Scouts Leader
It Is What Heavenly Father Wants You To Do
In my calling, my young son asks me why I do what I do. My answer is simple:
It is what God wants me to do.
Before you are extended a calling, your Bishop and others will ponder prayerfully what you should do. I know how much your Bishop loves and cares for you and seeks nothing but good for you. Your Bishop is really in tune with the Spirit and only after spiritual confirmation does he extend the call to you.
It Is Voluntary
You have your free agency. Your calling can be accepted or denied. Your participation is voluntary. You can say yes or no. Just remember however, this is what God wants you to do. I haven’t yet declined a calling as I recognize its divine origins.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we do not seek, nor do we decline, callings that come from God through inspired priesthood channels. (President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 178th Annual General Conference, April 2008, Sunday Morning Session)
No one in the Church is paid for their calling. The payment for performing your calling is blessings for you and your family.
A Way Has Been Prepared
When Nephi and his brothers were asked to bring back the brass plates from Laban, his brothers did not think it was possible. However, Nephi sagely replied:
I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. (1 Nephi 3:7)
Heavenly Father knows you intimately and does not give you more than you can handle.
Magnify Your Calling
I remember when I first heard my Bishop use this phrase: “Magnify your calling.” What does Magnify mean? President Gordon B. Hinckley interpreted it as to enlarge, make clear, bring closer, to strengthen. (Ensign, May 1989) More simply said by President Thomas S. Monson:
How does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it.
Consecrate Thy Performance
When you receive a calling, pray over it. A brother in my ward has told me a few times to consecrate thy performance:
But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. (2 Nephi 32:9)
Finally, in my Stake Conference Adult Session last night, I heard the following four truths about callings:
Callings Do Not Last Forever
There was a story that went with this, basically this brother was called to be a primary teacher for a class and every year he was called to teach the same group of children. He was blessed in that his callings only lasted a year, he got to watch these children grow up as he progressed through Primary, to the Bishopric and finally to Bishop. He got to see these children off to a mission and also have them return as a Bishop. You will no doubt have many callings over your lifetime.
Great Associations Are Created In Callings That Strengthen One Another
His calling had him nourish an everlasting friendship to where his friend would call on him years later, from another state for help. This was a blessing to both himself and his friend. Callings are a good way to get to know your new Ward Family and visa-versa.
You Are Usually Helping Those Who Are Helping Others
Callings are all about service to others. You could be in Nursery watching the children of a Gospel Doctrine Teacher who is teaching your family. Once again, callings are all about service to others, period.
You Are Doing Something That Someone Else In The Ward Cannot Do (at that time, with those people)
You were called for a reason, whether it be a talent you know you have or didn’t know. A way has been prepared for you.
I’d like to give my testimony that accepting and taking your callings to heart and magnifying it does bring blessings, joy and immence pleasure as you are serving those around you. You are doing the your part in building up the Kingdom of Heaven.