We have a new member in our Ward that has reoccurring seizures. The member requests a priesthood blessing every time they have a seizure. What do we understand about multiple blessings for the same illness?
With regards to multiple blessings one of the guidelines we have pertains to anointing the individual with oil is that if it is for the same sickness, then we do not need to anoint the individual every single time a blessing for sickness is given. In light of this with reoccurring seizures the individuals giving the blessing can determine if this would be for the same reason, or if this would be considered a different need and the anointing would take place again.
A person is able to request the brethren for a priesthood blessing anytime they feel a need; although, in a blessing a priesthood holder may feel inspired to provide counsel regarding the request of multiple blessings for the same reason. On my mission I served with a missionary who was requesting multiple blessings (not of sickness) from our mission president. In one blessing the missionary was informed that upon acting on the counsel and blessing already received, then if requested the blessing would provide further counsel and blessings. The missionary then understood that if the missionary asked again for blessing the blessing would repeat the same counsel and same blessings until action was taken.
With regard to multiple blessing for someone who is experiencing constant seizures, in my personal opinion, a blessing should be given with faith and hope that promised blessings are received and counsel obeyed. It wouldn’t be my responsibility to counsel not requesting (exercising their faith for) a blessing for each time they experience a seizure, assuming they aren’t asking for a blessing multiple times per day.
If they are requesting multiple blessings per day, then this would be a great opportunity to discuss how to speak with the member with your Elder’s Quorum President or one of his counselors. If the EQP is unsure, then the EQP can speak with the bishop or one of his counselors regarding how to best speak with the member. In saying this though, as priesthood holders we have access to prayer, and to the spirit of discernment in each case a blessing is requested. We might receive an impression to politely and respectfully speak with the member about asking for an additional blessing in one day for the same reason – a seizure knowing full well that our blessing previously provided would include this seizure. We also can receive the spirit of discernment to know if this seizure requires and is important enough for us to give another blessing.
The point being, we shouldn’t hesitate to give a blessing, and we have opportunities through different avenues as to how to proceed if we feel an impression specifying another blessing is not required at this moment, and a simple prayer of love with the member would do.