Anointing of the Sick
- 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)
Anointing the sick with consecrated oil as part of administering to the sick is a practice of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The apostles of Jesus healed in the same way: “And they . . . anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:13).
Olive oil is consecrated for healing the sick. A Melchizedek Priesthood holder opens the container of oil and prays to Heavenly Father, stating that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood to consecrate the oil and set it apart for anointing and blessing the sick. He closes the prayer in the name of the Lord [[Jesus Christ]. The consecrated oil is used only for administration and is never used for any other purpose. Many Melchizedek Priesthood holders carry a small vial of consecrated oil with them at all times.
Normally two Melchizedek Priesthood holders administer to the sick. One anoints the oil by applying a drop of oil to the crown of the person’s head. He then places his hands on the person’s head, calls the person by his or her full name, states that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood to anoint him or her with oil that has been consecrated for anointing and blessing the sick, and then closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
The second priesthood holder then seals the anointing. Both priesthood holders place their hands on the person’s head and the second priesthood holder calls the person by his or her full name, states that he is sealing the anointing by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, and then gives a blessing as the Spirit of the Lord directs. He feels this direction spiritually by impressions and thoughts of what to say that come to his mind by way of revelation. He closes in the name of Jesus Christ.
If two Melchizedek Priesthood holders are not available, one is permitted to both anoint and seal. He can also give a blessing without anointing with oil, especially if none is available.
- And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. (James 5:15)
An important part of anointing the sick, sealing the anointing, and pronouncing a blessing of healing is the faith of the recipient. Being healed through an administration of the priesthood is a fruit of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His ability to heal.
To the father who brought his son to Jesus to be healed, Jesus said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” The father, knowing he believed, but perhaps worried that his faith was not enough, answered, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:23–24). The son was healed.
Although members of the Church of Jesus Christ are usually those who ask for blessings, anyone who wants a blessing, including an anointing, can have one. As James said, “Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church” (James 5:14, emphasis added). Melchizedek Priesthood holders are willing to administer to all people.