Hans H Mattsson provides an account of second anointing in 2000.

Christina Hanke
2nd Hand

Hans H Mattsson and Christina Hanke. Truth Seeking: The Story of High-Ranking Mormon Leader Hans Mattsson Seeking Sincere Answers from His Church But Instead Finding Contempt, Fear, Doubt … and Eventually Peace (Swedish title: Sökte sanning fann Tvivel). Stockholm, Sweden: Andersson & Isacson AB, 2018. Kindle Edition, 84–87.

Andersson & Isacson AB
Birgitta Mattsson, Hans H. Mattsson, M. Russell Ballard, Christina Hanke
General Public

The Second Anointing

During his first year as Area Seventy, Hans was invited to attend an “off-hours” Sunday afternoon meeting at the Mormon temple in Frankfurt, Germany. The meeting came with the unusual request he not talk to anyone about the invitation.

Hans knew there were additional temple ceremonies he hadn’t yet experienced, despite all his years of dedicated Church leadership and service. But he had little insight as to what these additional ceremonies were or how they looked. He had heard vague whispers about these “private meetings” and knew that the expectation was to deny any knowledge of them. That said, he did know the ceremonies were limited to an elite inner circle of members and that participation was very exclusive.

On the designated day, Hans and Birgitta and three other couples arrived at the Frankfurt Temple, which was officially closed to other members. Elder Russell M. Ballard, member of Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and a few other senior Church leaders welcomed Hans, Birgitta, and the other couples. Ballard briefly explained that the ceremony they would participate in was known as the “Second Anointing,” or having one’s “calling and election made sure.”

As part of the introduction to the ceremony, Ballard explained, “You are now worthy to receive a higher knowledge and gain an even deeper assurance and understanding of the Church.” He also assured those participating that what they were about to experience would change their lives “to the core.”

The ceremony was comprised of two separate parts: The first consisted of Elder Ballard washing the men’s feet. They were told that the foot washing represented that each participant would now be completely “clean and innocent from the sins of the world.” Ballard said the concept comes from the New Testament, when Jesus washed the feet of each apostle prior to his crucifixion. The second part of the ceremony included Ballard anointing the men with oil similar to the ancient kings of the Old Testament. In connection with this anointing, a blessing was pronounced on Hans and the other men. Among the promises given them by Ballard, each would now have full power to bless or curse, to live as long a life as one wished, and that the windows of heaven would be opened upon them (meaning that nothing would stand in the way of what they sought after). Furthermore, the men were promised that each could become a god. They had received a “sure promise” that they would indeed become gods.

Following the ordinances performed for the men, the women were anointed by Ballard to become queens and priestesses for their spouses.

Next, each couple was ushered to their own room, which contained a tub of water and a towel. The wife now washed the man's feet. She placed her hands on her husband's head and pronounced a blessing on him with words she felt inspired to say.

Then the participants joined together again, and Elder Ballard briefly recapped what had happened and invited the group to ask questions, as an opportunity like this would never happen again for them.

One of Ballard’s primary directives was that no one share that they received the Second Anointing. He said uninitiated members shouldn’t even know the ordinance exists.

"If anyone asks, deny any knowledge whatsoever,” Ballard said.

In contrast to the temple ceremony Hans had experienced as a young man, which was scary and strange, this Second Anointing ordinance felt transformational for him. He had now officially been approved before God.

The same promises and covenants God had made with Abraham had now been made directly with him. He felt humble and chosen at the same time. His usual feelings of inadequacy vanished, because God had chosen him.

Birgitta's heart flooded with emotion. The experience felt wonderful — a spiritual high. Now that they had the Second Anointing, they, their family, and their descendants were guaranteed eternal life together.

Birgitta was at ease when she washed Hans feet in solitude. She realized that this foot washing must have a completely different meaning than the foot washing Elder Ballard just performed: the apostle had represented Christ himself. "Whom do I represent?" Birgitta wondered. She recalled how Mary Magdalene anointed the feet of Jesus. "It must be her that I represent. She works in service and love. She is preparing for a funeral and a resurrection.”

The physical touch strengthened their proximity and affinity. But Birgitta became more uncomfortable in her next mission, to lay her hands on her husband’s head and utter a blessing on him. The laying on of hands isn’t practiced by Mormon women.

"What should I say? How should I say it? Do I speak by myself or by inspiration?”

She wanted with all her soul to lift him as a husband, family man, leader, and priesthood holder. Words came across her lips. Hans was deeply touched by her words. The uncomfortable feelings disappeared.

Hans and Birgitta left the temple with an even firmer determination. They now carried a great secret experience together. Their future was secured. Their loyalty had been tested, and they had achieved all one could hope for on this earth. All old disappointments and failures were of no importance. They had been sealed and approved for eternal life by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

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