Mount of Olives panorama

Mount of Olives panorama
A panoramic view of the Mount of Olives

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Consecrating Oil on the Mount of Olives

Rachel and a student in the Orson Hyde Gardens
Today after our church services, we went to the Orson Hyde Gardens on the Mount of Olives, where consecrated small vials containing the oil that we had made earlier in the fall.

Latter-day Saints follow the biblical practice of anointing the sick with oil as part of seeking and giving healing blessings (see Mark 6:13; James 5:14).  We do this with pure oil which is consecrated and dedicated for this purpose in advance, and most LDS men carry small vials of it.

Gathering in the stone amphitheater of the Hyde Gardens, with a stirring view of the Old City across the Kidron Valley, we listened to Andy Skinner teach about the symbolism of olive oil and bear testimony of what Jesus had done just below us at the Garden of Gethsemane, where our Lord began his atoning work at "the place of the olive press," where the weight of our sins, sorrows, infirmities, and pains pressed down on him.  Brother Skinner has a firm witness of the saving mission of Jesus Christ, and we were stirred to listen to him.

Brother Skinner then asked me to pray before we began consecrating the oil.  It was one of the greatly stirring moments of my life, to stand there on the Mount of Olives where Jesus and prophets and apostles before and since have prayed.

We then divided into small groups of two men and several women to take vials of oil in our hands, invoking the authority and power of the priesthood in the name of Jesus Christ to bless the oil that each student can take home.  I had brought Rachel with me, and we walked around the gardens for a while, looking at the mount and over across to the city before returning to the center.

Rachel and the group of students who joined me and Izak Rock in consecrating oil

The Holy Sepulchre as seen from the Mount of Olives

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