Washing and anointing

From Academic Kids

In Mormonism, washing and anointing (also called the Initiatory) is an ordinance (ritual) that symbolizes ritual cleansing and anointing to be a king or queen in heaven. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the ritual is performed in temples.

Washing and anointings (also referred to as initiatory ordinances) are perhaps the earliest practiced temple ordinances for the living since the organization of the Church. There is evidence that these ordinances were performed in part since 1832. They were first practiced in the Whitney Store as part of the School of the Prophets. This ordinance continues to be performed today. The worshipper removes all clothing and dons a single sheet or drape for modesty. So covered, the worshipper attends to four "stations" in which temple workers wash and anoint the various parts of their bodies, while blessing each part that they might be strong.

In 2005 the ordinance was modified so that the worshipper is more fully clothed and most parts of the body are no longer literally washed or anointed.

The ordinance of washing and anointing symbolizes the ritual cleansing of priests that took place at Israel's Tabernacle, the temple of Solomon, and later temples in Jerusalem (see Exodus 28:40-42, Exodus 29:4-9, 20-21 29-30, 30:18-21). The washing symbolizes being "cleansed from the blood of this generation," and being anointed to become "clean from the blood and sins of this generation." The anointing represents the ritual anointing of a king or queen, and is thought to be "preparatory" to the recipient "becoming a king and a priest unto the most high God, hereafter to rule and reign in the house of Israel forever."

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