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TROY - Why is a Priesthood Blessing different from any other blessing or ordinance in that it is performed in two distinct parts: anointing and sealing?

JOEL - The use of olive oil in anointing is from very ancient times. It was the custom to anoint prophets, kings, and holy messengers as a stamp or token of their official calling. In Leviticus, 8:6-12, is an interesting account of the calling of Aaron, and how Moses not only anointed Aaron, but likewise the altar and the vessels, and sanctified them with holy oil.

Olive oil was also used anciently to dress wounds. It prevented drying of the skin and infection. The good Samaritan poured wine and oil into the wounds of the man he rescued in the desert (Luke 10:34). The use of oil in the treating of wounds undoubtedly played a role in its choice for ceremonial anointing of the sick by the early Christians (Mark 6:13; James 5:14-15).

Other than it being a longstanding custom the other and perhaps most important reason that it be done the way it is, is that it is a commandment from God:

"Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him." (Ex. 29: 7)

"And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them." (Mark 6: 13)

"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: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him." (James 5: 14-15)

One part being "anointing him with oil" and the second part, "pray over him".

A priesthood blessing isn't much diffrent than other ordinances that require two parts; eg. the sacrament (bread and water); Baptism and confirmation; the initiatory ordiance in the temple (washing and anointing), etc.

One other thing to consider is that such a ministration requires two priesthood holders; one to anoint and the other to help seal the aniointing, fulfilling the requirement of two witnesses.

"This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." 2 Cor 13:1

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