The Joseph Smith Papers discussion of "second anointings" in the context of Joseph's 1843–44 Journal entries.

The Joseph Smith Papers

"Nauvoo Journals: May 1843-June 1844," The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed September 6, 2021

Church Historian's Press
Emma Hale Smith, Wilford Woodruff, The Joseph Smith Papers, Joseph Smith, Jr., Willard Richards
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The same revelation that explained the conditions under which a man could take plural wives also explained the principle of eternal marriage, whereby a man and a woman who were “sealed” as husband and wife by one holding the proper priesthood authority would “pass by the angels and the gods . . . to their exaltation and glory” after death. Such sealings were an integral part of many (perhaps all) of Joseph Smith’s plural marriages, as evidenced by several of his plural wives later testifying that they had been “married or sealed” to him “for time and eternity.” An entry in shorthand in Joseph Smith’s journal suggests that he and Emma, who had been married civilly in 1827, were sealed for eternity on 28 May 1843. One of his close associates, James Adams, was evidently sealed to his wife the same day, and other trusted friends were sealed to their current spouses over the ensuing months.These sealing ceremonies generally took place in meetings of church members who had earlier participated in rituals, or ordinances, that would later be performed in the Nauvoo temple. In Joseph Smith’s journal, Richards referred to meetings of this group by a variety of names, including “council,” “quorum,” “council of the quorum,” and “prayer meeting.” Members of this group first met on 4 May 1842 when, in Richards’s words, Joseph Smith taught nine men about the “washings & anointings, endowments, and the communications of keys . . . & all those plans & principles by which any one is enabled to secure the fulness of those blessings which has been prepared for the chu[r]ch of the first-born, and come up, and abide in the prese[n]ce of Eloheim in the eternal worlds.” This group met four more times by the end of June 1842, after which it did not meet again until 26 May 1843, almost a year later. On this date, Joseph Smith evidently repeated the same instruction to some of the same men, probably to prepare them for the additional ordinance of being sealed to their wives. Several were sealed just days later. In a separate ordinance performed the following September, Joseph and Emma Smith were “anointed & ordd.[ordained] to the highest and holiest order of the priesthood.” Other members of this council—including all nine members of the Quorum of the Twelve who were living in the area and their wives—eventually received the same ordinance, which Wilford Woodruff, a member of the council, often referred to as a “second anointing” in his journal. In addition to participating in these rituals, the growing number of men and women invited to attend these meetings often prayed together and received instructions from Joseph Smith about teachings and doctrines related to the temple.

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