In a previous post, I noted that the words “Melchizedek Priesthood” were nearly absent from the initiatory rite at the temple and the ordinances were merely performed “by authority.” This past week, I noticed another absence: “In the name of Jesus Christ.” Nearly all Mormon prayers end with the words “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” But about half of the prayers/blessings in the initiatory rite do not end with those words. Rather, our bodies are simply blessed, and then a second temple worker comes in to seal or confirm the blessing. This second temple worker usually ends “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen”, but the original blessing just simply ends with a blessing and without those words. Is this significant? If yes, what is the significance? If no, why are these blessings different?
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I am thinking that the first time hands are laid on the head, what we would see as a blessing, is taking the place of actually touching each of the various parts being washed or anointed. Before 2005 (I think that is the year), each part of the body was dabbed with water/oil as the ritual proceeded. After this step the other worker would have entered, and then there was a laying on of hands and prayer to seal the washing and confirm the anointing. With the changes, only the brow is now washed or anointed, and then hands are placed upon the head to represent the physical contact that the actual washing or anointing used to have. The first laying on of hands can be seen as proxy for the actual touching that occurred before the changes. I think the language to point this out is something along the lines of '… but you are washed and anointed only symbolically … '.
If someone was not aware of how the ritual was performed before they most likely would see two separate blessings, but this aspect of the rite is one whole and not two parts.
From my understanding the cultural tradition to end a prayer “in the name of Jesus Christ, amen” is a relatively new phenomenon that appeared in the 1950s or 1960s. Probably, most likely to follow the scriptural admonition to pray in the name of Christ. Before that time it was my understanding that a lot of prayers started in the name of Christ rather than addressing Heavenly Father.
The Bible tells us to pray always which means more or less continuously in practice this becomes on and off frequently during one’s waking hours ending the need for the formal opening and closing, more like an ongoing text conversation. Something that drives me crazy is all the opening and closing prayers in a 3 hour block. Say hello at the beginning and goodby at the end and be done with that formality and say all the prayers you want in your head in between..
LDS are soooo stiff, formal and often stoic in prayer, if you’d like to enjoy praying get into a Christian or charismatic Christian prayer circle and make God your friend! It’s a very happy and rewarding experience. If you’d like to become one with God in prayer take up meditation. If you’d like God’s direction in your life forget the “I wants” and ask God what he will have you do and become.
“In the name of Jesus Christ…Amen” is a Bruce R. McConkie creation from the ’60s and ’70s which is why it is not in the Endowment ceremony. I am sometimes amazed how quickly we forget the changes in our cultural traditions.
I don’t know. I looked at some conference talks from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and they consistently closed “in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” I don’t know if other ordinances and blessings had particular language that included “in the name of Jesus Christ” or not, but it appears doing things in the name of Christ has been a consistent mantra.
Currently, a majority (51%) of voters proclaim “I don’t know.” I can see I’m part of the majority in not understanding things in the temple.
forgetting, if memory serves me, whether one was dabbing water/oil as part of the anointing/washing rituals, it still didn’t end “in the name of Jesus Christ.” So yes, the laying on of hands makes it appear as 2 blessings now, but I think it is interesting that it hasn’t closed in the name of Jesus even pre-2005. I have no idea if it is significant or not.
This ritual should not be confused with the separate anointing and sealing/blessing actions of our healing ritual. Though, they are similar and should point our minds to like thoughts.
We questioned the worker noticing carpet changes earlier. Carpet (or other flooring) changes between rooms are important, in that they identify thresholds and boundaries.
During the initiatory those thresholds and boundaries are marked by curtained partitions. In each partition all actions should also be seen as one whole. It is two people, addressing the participant twice, once each (normal in ritual), engaging in one action together. This threshold or boundary is particularly remarkable, in that it specifically has its attention drawn to it. With the workers moving back and forth through the boundary, while you remain still (the second worker entering later). Also of interest, we don't ever move ourselves through these boundaries, there is an invite as the workers hold back the partitions so we may cross.
Kinda off topic, that gesture (holding back the partition to/and inviting us through and onward) though, it is one of the most used ritualistic gestures we have in our temples. It is a gesture of invitation, welcome, and assistance. Everywhere, throughout the temple at boundaries and thresholds, we have workers standing there greeting us, welcoming, asking to help, asking to guide and to assist. Over, and over, and over. As we progress through our temple experience it is a whispering chorus of: welcome to the temple, it is so good to see you today, welcome sister, this way please, may I help you, welcome, hello brother this way…
There are ritualistic gestures of invitation, welcome, and assistance in the endowment ritual as well. It is probably one of the most sacred things being done ritualistically given the amount of resources (throughout the whole temple) we dedicate to what, at first glance, has lesser value.
IDIAT. I’m with you; paying a modicum of attention since the early 1950s, I can only recall prayers ending “in the name of Jesus.” I will certainly welcome being straightened out if I have misapprehended the facts.