In the blessing of the sick and afflicted, how long has the use of consecrated oil been a part of the ordinance? Has this always been the case since the earliest dispensations of time, or did it start with the restoration of the Gospel in this dispensation?
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Great question. The use of consecrated oil goes back much farther than the restoration of the gospel during this dispensation.
Let’s take a look at the Old Testament. In Leviticus 21:10-12 it mentions the anointing oil that was placed on the head by the High Priest.
In the New Testament we read in Mark 6:13: And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Also in the New Testament you can find reference to this in James 5:14: 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:
The story of the good Samaritan is an example of symbolism of the oil. In Luke 10:34 it is written: And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
So as you can see, we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continue in using consecrated oil just as they had during the Old and New Testament times.