Posted by: nflanders | June 14, 2005

Rotting holy oil

Consecrated oil is suddenly a hot topic in the bloggernacle. I have a metal vial of oil on my keychain that I never bothered to take off after my mission. Most of the time, I forget it’s even there. It’s probably weird to carry around oil that I’m not even worthy to use; do I think that if I’m in a jam and need to give a blessing, God won’t care that I’m not active? If God can overlook that, then surely he can overlook the absence of oil.
Maybe I never took it off my keychain because that would be the sign that I wasn’t coming back, that I was giving up on the priesthood permanently. Maybe I need a tactile reminder that I am a Mormon (however inactive).

Unfortunately, it’s been seven years since I opened the vial (we gave lots of blessings on my mission). At this point I am too scared to open it to see if the oil has completely rotted. I’ll leave it to the bloggernacle’s literary critics to draw comparisons between the oil and my soul.



  1. “I’m not even worthy to use”

    What do you mean by this? You seem to be buying into Mormon stereotypes (active vs. inactive, worthy vs. unworthy). God will answer your prayers on behalf of someone if you are sincere, and if He chooses to do so. It doesn’t matter if you’re active or not or use extra pure or whatever kind of oil.

  2. Ned,

    The current jargon is less active. You’re less active. Get with the times bro.

    Seriously, I’m not your judge. JC is and He can provide you His grace from judgment if you’ll let Him. I made it back into grace from my SF days, so I know you can recover from whatever demons haunt you. G-d bless you in your journey.

    PS – Drag your wife along. She doesn’t have to be LDS to accompany you to church, etc.

  3. Oscar, I didn’t mean anything profound. I just meant that anointing the sick is a priesthood ordinance that I am not, strictly speaking, worthy to administer.

    I’m not trying to beat myself up for being “unworthy”; I just don’t think I would be very comfortable using the MP, when I sometimes have doubts about its existence.

  4. Ned – okay, that makes sense. I just feel uncomfortable when people internalize the
    “worthiness” propaganda.

  5. Yeah, its rancid. Probably so is half the oil that is used for blessings these days, so your in good comapany.

  6. Perhaps it is time to “cleanse the inner vessel.”

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