Appendix B: Priesthood Ordinances
    Footnotes

    “Appendix B: Priesthood Ordinances,” Missionary Handbook (2010), 69–82

    “Appendix B,” Missionary Handbook, 69–82

    Appendix B: Priesthood Ordinances

    Elders may be asked to participate in priesthood ordinances and blessings. Melchizedek Priesthood holders should always be worthy and should strive to be guided by the Holy Spirit. They should perform each ordinance and blessing in a dignified manner, making sure it is performed:

    1. In the name of Jesus Christ.

    2. By the authority of the priesthood.

    3. With any necessary procedures, such as using specified words or using consecrated oil.

    As explained in this section, some ordinances must be authorized by the presiding authority who holds the proper keys.

    When several brethren participate in an ordinance or blessing, each one places his right hand lightly on the person’s head and his left hand on the shoulder of the brother to his left. It is discouraged for a large number of brethren to participate in a single ordinance or blessing.

    Baptism

    Under the direction of the presiding authority, a worthy priest or Melchizedek Priesthood holder may perform the ordinance of baptism. To do so, he:

    1. Stands in the water with the person to be baptized.

    2. Holds the person’s right wrist with his left hand (for convenience and safety); the person being baptized holds the priesthood holder’s left wrist with his or her left hand.

    3. Raises his right arm to the square.

    4. States the person’s full name and says, “Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen” (D&C 20:73).

    5. Has the person hold his or her nose with the right hand (for convenience). The priesthood holder places his right hand high on the person’s back and immerses the person completely, including the person’s clothing.

    6. Helps the person come up out of the water.

    Two priests or Melchizedek Priesthood holders witness each baptism to make sure it is performed properly. The baptism must be repeated if the words are not spoken exactly as given in Doctrine and Covenants 20:73 or if part of the person’s body or clothing is not immersed completely.

    Confirmation

    The ordinance of confirmation is performed under the direction of the bishop. He ensures that converts are confirmed in a sacrament meeting of the ward in which they reside, preferably the Sunday following their baptism. Converts are not confirmed at the baptismal service.

    Under the direction of the bishop, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in this ordinance. They place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the person who performs the ordinance:

    1. States the person’s full name.

    2. States that the ordinance is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    3. Confirms the person a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    4. Uses the wording “Receive the Holy Ghost.”

    5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

    6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Consecrating Oil

    One or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders must consecrate olive oil before it is used to anoint the sick or afflicted. No other oil may be used. To consecrate oil, a priesthood holder:

    1. Holds an open container of olive oil.

    2. Addresses Heavenly Father.

    3. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    4. Consecrates the oil (not the container) and sets it apart for anointing and blessing the sick and afflicted.

    5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Administering to the Sick

    Only Melchizedek Priesthood holders may administer to the sick or afflicted. Two or more of them normally do it together, but one may do it himself if necessary. If consecrated oil is not available, a blessing may be given by the authority of the priesthood without the anointing.

    A worthy father who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood normally should administer to sick members of his family.

    Brethren should administer to the sick at the request of the sick person or of those who are vitally concerned so the blessing will be according to their faith (see D&C 24:13–14; 42:43–44, 48–52). Melchizedek Priesthood holders who visit hospitals should not solicit opportunities to administer to the sick.

    Administering to the sick has two parts: (1) anointing with oil and (2) sealing the anointing.

    Anointing with Oil

    The anointing is done by one Melchizedek Priesthood holder. He:

    1. Puts a drop of consecrated oil on the person’s head.

    2. Places his hands lightly on the person’s head and calls the person by his or her full name.

    3. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    4. States that he is anointing with oil that has been consecrated for anointing and blessing the sick and afflicted.

    5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Sealing the Anointing

    Normally, two or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the head of the person.

    The one who seals the anointing:

    1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

    2. States that by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood he is sealing the anointing.

    3. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

    4. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    If a person requests more than one blessing for the same illness, the priesthood holder need not anoint with oil after the first blessing. Instead, he gives a blessing by the laying on of hands and the authority of the priesthood.

    Blessings of Comfort and Counsel

    Worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders may give blessings of comfort and counsel to persons who request them. One or more worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. The priesthood holder who gives the blessing:

    1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

    2. States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    3. Blesses the person as the Spirit directs.

    4. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    When a full-time missionary gives a blessing of comfort and counsel, he acts under the authority of the mission president (for other missionaries or non-members) or the local bishop (for members). When missionaries give a blessing to a member, they should report that action to the bishop (perhaps through the ward mission leader).

    Sacrament

    Under the direction of the bishop, priesthood holders bless the sacrament and pass it to members of the congregation during each sacrament meeting. If members are unable to attend sacrament meeting because they are confined to a home, nursing home, or hospital, the bishop may assign priesthood holders to prepare, bless, and pass the sacrament to these members.

    Worthy priests and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may bless the sacrament. Worthy Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders may pass the sacrament. The person who blesses the bread kneels and offers the sacrament prayer for the bread (see D&C 20:77); the bread is then passed to the congregation. The person who blesses the water kneels and offers the sacrament prayer for the water (see D&C 20:79, substituting the word water for wine); the water is then passed to the congregation.

    Conferring the Priesthood and Ordaining to Priesthood Offices

    The bishop oversees the conferral of the Aaronic Priesthood and ordinations to the offices of deacon, teacher, and priest. The stake president oversees the conferral of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordination to the offices of elder and high priest. Under the direction of the bishop or stake president, the following priesthood holders may participate in priesthood ordinations:

    Ordination to Office of:

    Participants

    Deacon, teacher, priest

    Priests and Melchizedek Priesthood holders

    Elder

    Melchizedek Priesthood holders

    High priest

    High priests

    To perform a priesthood ordination, one or more authorized priesthood holders place their hands lightly on the person’s head. Then the priesthood holder who performs the ordination:

    1. Calls the person by his full name.

    2. States the authority by which the ordination is performed (Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood).

    3. Confers the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood, unless it has already been conferred.

    4. Ordains the person to an office in the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood and bestows the rights, powers, and authority of that office. (Priesthood keys are not bestowed in conferring the priesthood or ordaining to one of these offices; see item 4 in the next section.)

    5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

    6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Setting Apart Officers and Teachers

    Under the direction of the presiding authority, one or more Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in a setting apart. They place their hands lightly on the person’s head. The priesthood holder who acts as voice:

    1. Calls the person by his or her full name.

    2. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    3. Sets the person apart to the appropriate office in a stake, ward, quorum, high priests group, or class.

    4. Confers keys on those who are entitled to receive them. (In stakes and wards, only stake presidents, bishops, and quorum presidents receive keys of presidency when they are set apart. The word keys should not be used when setting apart counselors, high councilors, high priests group leaders, presidents of auxiliary organizations, the bishop’s priests quorum assistants, or teachers in an organization.)

    5. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

    6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Naming and Blessing Children

    Only worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders may participate in naming and blessing children (see D&C 20:70). When blessing a baby, Melchizedek Priesthood holders gather in a circle and place their hands under the baby. When blessing an older child, brethren place their hands lightly on the child’s head.

    The person who gives the blessing:

    1. Addresses Heavenly Father.

    2. States that the blessing is performed by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    3. Gives the child a name.

    4. Gives a priesthood blessing as the Spirit directs.

    5. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    Dedicating Homes

    Church members may dedicate their homes as sacred edifices where the Holy Spirit can reside and where family members can worship, find safety from the world, grow spiritually, and prepare for eternal family relationships. Homes need not be free of debt to be dedicated. Unlike Church buildings, homes are not consecrated to the Lord. To dedicate a home, a family might gather and offer a prayer that includes the elements mentioned above and other words as the Spirit directs.

    Dedicating Graves

    A person who dedicates a grave should hold the Melchizedek Priesthood and be authorized by the priesthood officer who conducts the service. To dedicate a grave, he:

    1. Addresses Heavenly Father.

    2. States that he is acting by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

    3. Dedicates and consecrates the burial plot as the resting place for the body of the deceased.

    4. (Where appropriate) prays that the place will be hallowed and protected until the Resurrection.

    5. Asks the Lord to comfort the family and expresses thoughts as the Spirit directs.

    6. Closes in the name of Jesus Christ.

    If the family prefers, a graveside prayer rather than a dedicatory prayer may be offered, preferably by a Melchizedek Priesthood holder.