Ardis, I believe you have researched healing anointings, if memory serves (frequency, anointing the “affected parts,” etc.)? Would you say that greater quantities of consecrated oil were used, per capita, in the early twentieth-century Church than today?
Rick, I’m hoping J. Stapley will stop by to comment on that, because he’s the expert. My guess would be that yes, they used more oil in past years than now — I have the impression from somewhere that some took it internally, and some poured it on “affected parts,” rather than limiting it to a few drops in an anointing and healing as is most common today. J., are you there?
Ray, me too. Jami, I don’t explain ’em, just post ’em.
Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — July 12, 2008 @ 9:20 pm
Yeah, in 1923, anointing the area of affliction was still extant and while it was starting to be less and less common, the RS sisters still participated in the full body unctions for sickness, but more commonly for pregnant women. And people still drank it. The post-Lund Grant administration really did oversee a dramatic shift and rationalization of the healing liturgy, though. The healers were removed from the Temple in 1921 and I see that as one of the critical demarcations.
The historical precedent really is wonderful though. One of my favorites is the requisition of oil by the barrel at the Deseret Hospital.
I find the marketing of the purity of the olive oil fascinating. In the early Utah period, that was a huge deal. I think I have a source for Brigham not being able to use some oil once because it was so spoiled.