Sacred Oil


This week I was at a Self Reliance Workshop where we have both folks who are LDS and folks who aren’t LDS.

One of the women in the group was suffering a physical ailment. So she requested that two men who hold the priesthood stay after for a couple of minutes to give her a blessing. When one said they didn’t have any consecrated oil to perform the blessing, the woman replied, “Oh, I do.”

A man who is not LDS was lingering, so the woman explained that she was going to be receiving a blessing and invited him to remain, if he wished. They quickly established that he is from a faith tradition where such blessings are performed, and he felt comfortable remaining.

I loved to witness this. I loved the way the woman reached out to one who might feel ostracized and excluded, welcoming him into the experience, yet not forcing him to participate against his will. And I love that she was prepared to be blessed, even had neither of the men with power to bless been prepared.

The next day I was at a craft festival, one of the largest on the east coast. And I happened upon a lovely turned key fob. From my friend’s example, I decided that I, too, will be prepared to be blessed, or prepared at least to facilitate a blessing should a situation like that occur in future.

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About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

6 thoughts on “Sacred Oil

  1. I’ve seen recently a company selling little envelopes/packets of oil for blessings. The brothers just have to consecrate the oil before they use it in a blessing. I think that’s a good idea. This also reminds me of the lost and found at the MTC. We had a huge box full of lost oil vials from key chains. We would set it out on the counter at the mail room and people could take one if they needed it.

  2. Other info to keep handy: are the very brief instructions on how to consecrate oil, how to bless/anoint, and how to seal the anointing. They are in “Duty and Blessings of the Priesthood, Part B” (tan cover), Lesson 5. It is in the Gospel Library app. Each of those 3 instruction lists can be grabbed in a screenshot and kept in your Photos if you don’t have room for the full app. You could even fit them (each one separately) on a print-out on a single side of a standard business card. Which might be good for your newly-minted 18 year old elders.

  3. What a great reminder to never be ashamed of the gospel. It would have been very easy for that sister to ask the man to leave because she felt awkward about him watching. How much better it is that she was not ashamed and welcomed him to witness the blessing. I can do better at sharing sacred things appropriately.

  4. I home teach single sisters and sisters whose husband is not a member but supportive of their membership. A few months ago I felt impressed to look for small glass vials for oil on Amazon, partly to give some consecrated oil to these sisters so that in the event of a needed blessing, they would always have some. One of the sisters said that she didn’t need any because I was always available, but I told here that I wouldn’t always be available, and that she could be traveling and have need. A great opportunity to discuss this in front of her husband.

    Interestingly, on Amazon, one reviewer said he had the vial to hold olive oil, as he belonged to a group who used in the oil for anointing in blessings, and gave enough detail about his group that it was evident that he wasn’t LDS.

    A few years ago, one nice summer Saturday, my neighbor’s son (older than I) was out visiting and helping his aging father, and he mentioned how he loved mornings, and asked if I agreed. I have terrible chronic pain I’ve dealt with for over 40 years, and I told him that mornings are so associated with pain that I was beginning to struggle with finding joy in mornings. I offered to give my an anointing and blessing – he knowing that I’m LDS, and he is not, but he is a Christian and faithful to his beliefs.

    This is probably more common than we know, as all tend to hold such things sacred.

  5. last line of the 2nd last paragraph is supposed to read “He offered to give me an anointing and blessing”

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