The write is one of my best friends and one of the smartest guys I know - and one of the few readers who know who I am. Because of this, he will stay in my little world of anonymity. Even so, he was still willing to share. (He will be able to read and respond to any comments you leave.)
As my mind is wont to do, I found myself in Priesthood Meeting considering the lesson topic but paying no attention to the instructor. After all, I've heard of consecration and have even promised to live it. But the question I was mulling over in my head was "how do I teach this to my children in a real, concrete way?"
With that said, I was considering the word consecration and all that it entails. I posed the question to myself about where we use the word consecration in general church cirlces. Ding! The lightbulb went off: Consecrated oil.
Consider the blessed EVOO (that's Extra Virgin Olive Oil for you non-foodies). I love olive oil. I love it in pesto. I love it on pasta. I especially love it when mixed with the ambrosia-like spices found at my local Carraba's restaurant. EVOO is a pretty versatile material/item/thingy. A quick search of the web shows that it can be used in such diverse ways as freeing stuck zippers, curing diaper rash, treating lice and shaving. I must say, EVOO is the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to condiments.
While olive oil may get all the worldly glory, it is "pure" olive oil that is used when consecrating for the healing of the sick and afflicted. Notice something here, regular, or even EVOO oil, with all of it's wonderful and diverse uses, just doesn't cut it when only the purest form will do. That purity comes from being refined through heat. Similarly, if we are to become a consecrated people (or person), we must become as pure as possible, by being refined.
It is only under proper Priesthood Authority that pure olive oil can be transformed from the mundane to the holy. Isn't that an amazing concept? By following priesthood principles and practices, by honoring priesthood authority, we too can be transformed from regular folk to Celestial beings.
Pure olive oil, once consecrated, takes on a singular purpose; the healing of the sick and afflicted. It no longer is to be used for regular tasks but has been elevated to a higher cause and calling. Its one purpose is to offer help and healing to those who suffer under burdens. As we become consecrated saints, our purpose also becomes singular in focus. As Elder Neal A. Maxwell states, we must let "our individual wills be swallowed up n God's will." (click here)
Who knew that the little vial of oil, made powerful through the Holy Priesthood, could teach me so much about what I need to do to become the consecrated son that my Heavenly Father needs to fulfill his purposes on Earth?
Note from MMM:
FHE tie-in: I plan on having an FHE with my family in the next couple of weeks to discuss this concept. I think we will incorporate dipping bread and olive oil into the dinner before and, and then use a bottle of olive oil as an object lesson to teach the principle of consecration. To finish the lesson, my two Melchizekdek priesthood holders and I will consecrate a bottle of oil and refresh our vials. I imagine that teaching and image will stay with my family.
Thanks to my friend for his insight. (Start your own blog already!)