Many LDS Church members are unaware that a secret LDS temple ordinance called the “Second Anointing” is regularly being administered by LDS Church apostles to elite friends, family, and leaders (mostly stake presidents, temple presidents, mission presidents, and LDS general authorities, along with their wives). In this ordinance (according to reports) an apostle washes the feet of the couple in the temple, anoints them on the head with oil such that their “calling and election is made sure” (guaranteeing them a place in the Celestial Kingdom), and then invites the couple to retreat to a room in the temple, wherein the wife washes her husband’s feet, and then lays her hands on his head to give him a special priesthood blessing.
Over the past few years, we have received reports of several LDS Church members (specifically in Europe) who have lost their LDS faith AFTER receiving their Second Anointing.
In June of 2012 I interviewed Tom Phillips, former LDS church stake president in London, England U.K. In this interview he discusses the following:
- His early experiences as a bishop and stake president in the LDS church, along with his friendship with LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland.
- His experience receiving a secret/sacred LDS church ordinance called the “Second Anointing,” wherein he was anointed by the hands of Elder M. Russel Ballard, and assured exaltation in there hereafter.
- His subsequent loss of faith over historical and scientific issues with the church.
- His direct correspondence with then friend, LDS apostle Jeffrey R. Holland, over these troubling issues.
- The pain, suffering, and ultimate divorce that he and his family experienced as a result of his faith crisis.
- Additional details about Tom’s story can be found here.
At the time I conducted this interview I was in deep discussions with my stake president, Mark Jensen, over my status with the church, and my ability to baptize my son. Out of fear of church discipline, and as a sign of good will to President Jensen, I decided to not release this episode via Mormon Stories podcast, and instead granted permission to Tom to do with it as he saw fit.
Over the subsequent months and years I have come to regret this decision made largely out of fear, and want to publicly apologize to Tom for it. I now feel it is appropriate to release this interview, not because I seek to show disrespect for the LDS church or its temple ordinances, but because Tom’s story is a very poignant example of the pain and suffering that can come about as many LDS members continue to experience legitimate struggles with the LDS church’s truth claims.