Washing 

Summary

A ritual ablution of bodies symbolizing a purification from sin.1 As early as 1830, the Book of Mormon and JS revelations characterized baptism by immersion as a washing away of sins.2 On 23 January 1833, JS led the members of the School of the Prophets in the washing of hands, faces, and feet to cleanse them “from the blood of this generation.”3 In January 1836, JS and other elders performed the ordinances of washing and anointing in preparation for the dedication of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio.4 Washings and anointings were administered thereafter to additional priesthood holders in the March 1836 solemn assembly and other special gatherings.5 An 1841 JS revelation stipulated that washings and other ordinances should be performed in dedicated temples.6 In May 1842, JS introduced to a small group of church members a new ordinance called the endowment, which included washing and anointing.7 In January 1844, JS taught that washings could be performed vicariously for deceased relatives and associates.8 See also “Anoint” and “Washing of feet.”