By Cordell and Janice Vail

17 Aug 2003

Copyright 2003 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail

Blessing The Sick - When and How

A. Why do we use olive oil?

1. We exclusively use pure olive oil in blessing the sick in obedience to diving instruction.
Ref: DOS 3:180, Exodus 27:20, 2:15, MPH page 25, GHI 48

2. The use of pure olive oil in administering to the sick and in other Holy Places is a symbol of purity and peace.
Ref: DOS 3:180, AGQ 1:152

3. You can still bless the sick person if no olive oil is available but no anointing would be done in that case.
Ref: DOS 3:180, Church News 1 Sep 1934, GHI 48

4. When you bless the sick person you also forgive them of their sins (this is dependent upon their having repented of course.)
Ref: DOS 3:177, Improvement Era Vol. 58 pages 558-607, AGQ 1:150

B. Who can give blessings?

1. A father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood should administer to the sick in his family with the help of his home teachers.
Ref: GHI 48

2. When a person is sick they should call for two elders to come for the blessing. But if only one Elder is available he has full authority to anoint and seal the anointing alone.
Ref: AGQ 1:148, MCOC 12, PCG 356, James 5:14-15, TPJS 190, DHC 4:414, GHI 48

3. A women DOES NOT hold the Priesthood, nor can she use it with any authority. But any member (male of female) can lay hands upon the sick and bless them. If an Elder is alone he can ask a female member or a holder of the Aaronic Priesthood to assist him in the blessing. This is done in the roll of support and faith not by any authority they hold.
Ref: AGQ 1:149, TPJS 225, DOS 3:178

4. A woman can bless her own children or other people by the power of faith when there are no Elders available. It IS NOT proper for her to use consecrated oil in this blessing. Faith to heal is a gift of the Holy Ghost.
Ref: AGQ 1:149, TPJS 224-225, PCG 91,357; JOD 26:100, DOS 3:178

5. It is not improper for a man and his wife to bless their children together by his priesthood and by their faith.
Ref: AGQ 1:149, DOS 3:178

C. When should you give a blessing?

1. An Elder does not need permission from a quorum leader, bishop or stake president to give a blessing even when the person does not live in the same ward or stake as the elder.
Ref: PCG 75, Improvement Era April 1937 page 242

2. We should not solicit blessings. The sick should always ask so it is given in faith. This is even true when you are asked to go to the hospital on assignment. You should not ask if they want a blessing. Some one else can ask them if they want a blessing and invite them to ask you.
Ref: GHI 48, James 5:14-15, TPJS 190, PCG 357

3. It is proper for the wife to teach the children to ask their father for a blessing when they are sick because he can not ask them himself if they want a blessing.
Ref: Pres. Glen A. Weight, Bennion Utah West Stake Conference, PCG 91, GHI 48, D&C 24:14

D. Consecrating the oil.

1. Only pure olive oil should be used. Ref: MPH 24, GHI 48

2. Words and procedures for this ordinance are outlined in the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook on pages 24-25 Ref: see also MDOC 159, James 5:14-15)

3. Normally two or more elders consecrate the oil but one can do it alone. Ref: MDCC 151, MPH 25

4. You should use wording that consecrates the oil and not the vile of oil or oil vile. Ref: MPH 24, GHI 48

5. It is not improper to consecrate a larger bottle of oil then divide it up in smaller bottles. Ref: MDOC 159

E. Anointing with oil.

1. Words and procedures for this ordinance are outlined in the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook on pages 24-25. There are no set words that must be used. Only one Elder acting alone should do the anointing.
Ref: MPH 24

2. Oil should only be put on the crown of the head and not on the afflicted parts of the body or taken internally. you should pour the oil and not use a medicine dropper.
Ref: DOS 3:179, AGQ 1:147, GHI 48, MPH 24

3. If a person has been anointed previously and blessed for this same illness, no further anointing is necessary. An additional priesthood blessing can be given if requested.
Ref: GHI 48, MDOC 22, DOS 3:178-179

F. Sealing the Anointing.

1. Words and procedures for this ordinance are outlined in the Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook. There are no set words. Two or more elders should seal the anointing (one can act alone if necessary). Other lay members can assist if needed (male of female).
Ref: DOS 3:183; GHI 48; CHURCH NEWS 1 Sep 1934; MPH 24; TPJS 190, 225; PCG 356; MDOC 22

2. When you bless a person who is terminally ill you should not dedicate them to the Lord.
Ref: DOS 3:179, D&C 42:44, ERA Vol. 25:1122.

G. Other types of blessings you can give.

1. Patriarchal blessing as a father who is a natural patriarch.
2. Fathers blessings.
3. Blessings and naming babies.
4. Blessing as a part of the confirmation after baptism.
5. Blessing given as a part of the ordaining to an office in the priesthood.
6. Setting apart blessing for callings in the church
7. Blessing the sacrament.
8. Dedicating graves.
9. Blessing when requested for general comfort and counsel.
10. Blessing you home.

References and abbreviations used in this handout:<P> 1. DOS - Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith
2. AGQ - Answers to Gospel Questions by Joseph Fielding Smith
3. MDOC - Mormon Doctrine by Elder Bruce R. McConkie 1966 editon
4. PCG - Priesthood and Church Government by Heber J. Grant 1939 edition
5. TPJS - Teaching Of The Prophet Joseph Smith by Joseph Fielding Smith 1965 edition
6. DHC - Documentary History of the Church by Joseph Smith
7. MPH - Melchizedek Priesthood Handbook
8. GHI - General Handbook of Instructions 1981 edition
9. JOD - Journal of Discourses

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NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.