Washing & Anointing

Initiatory Work

The ordinances of washing and anointing are referred to often in the temple as initiatory ordinances since they precede the Endowment and sealing ordinances.[1] In connection with the initiatory ordinances, one is also clothed in the garment in the temple.[6] (Wikipedia – Washing & Anointing)

The initiatory ordinances are a pre-requisite for the endowment ceremony. The first time a patron visits the temple they must go through these ordinances and then the endowment ceremony. (revision)

The temple garments, also known as Garments of the Holy Priesthood, are worn by the patron after the washing and anointing take place. They are also worn outside of the temple under regular clothing. The garments have four symbols known as Marks of the Holy Priesthood sewn into them. Over the left breast is “the mark of the compass” and over the right breast is “the mark of the square.” There is also a one inch horizontal line over the navel and the right knee. The significance of each mark is explained in the endowment ceremony. (Initiatory Ordinances)

The ordinance of anointing with oil on the head or body as a sign of sanctification and consecration in preparation for the endowment of “power from on high.”2 This anointing was combined with the ordinance of washing.3 In addition, the ordinance of blessing of the sick included anointing with oil.4 Latter-day Saints also used the term anointed in the metaphorical sense to mean chosen, elected, or otherwise designated by God to some position or responsibility.5 (Anointing)

The temple would be a place for them to conduct “your anointings, and your washings, and your baptisms for the dead, and your solemn assemblies, and your memorials for your sacrifices by the sons of Levi, and for your oracles in your most holy places wherein you receive conversations, and your statutes and judgments, for the beginning of the revelations and foundation of Zion, and for the glory, honor, and endowment of all her municipals, … by the ordinance of my holy house, which my people are always commanded to build unto my holy name.” (D&C 124:39.)Among the ordinances we perform in the Church are these: baptism, sacrament, naming and blessing of infants, administering to the sick, setting apart to callings in the Church, ordaining to offices. In addition there are higher ordinances, performed in the temples. These include washings, anointings, the endowment, the sealing ordinance spoken of generally as temple marriage and Second Anointing. (Preparing for the Temple)

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