What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

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Janes now
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What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by Janes now » 12 Aug 2013, 15:52

Hi everyone.

I've been doing lots of reading about temple endowment changes overtime. The pre 1990 penalities that was included bothers me a lot. It feels like the temple paints God as a mean, chastening God. Anyway I wanted to be sure the materials I'm reading is not deceiving me. So I asked my mother who left the church many years ago if she remembered and she couldn't. Next, my friend asked her mother in law and she denied (one of the graphic symbols) as one of the penalities.


Hence, for you folks who were endowed before 1990, please be truthful. We're there penalities like the (graphic symbol)?

Also, please help me understand why women need to cover their face with veils during the certain part of the session?

Is it wrong that I just want to get sealed hopefully someday and avoid endowment sessions?

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Aug 2013, 16:50

Janes Now, we can talk here about pretty much everything in the temple, but we won't do into details about the signs and tokens and the former penalties.

I didn't mind the penalties as much as some others did, because my father told me they represented ways that people could be killed by people who were pressuring members to explain about the parts of the temple that are included in what shouldn't be discussed. (and I see VERY little in that category) In other words, he explained it as representing the level of commitment people had to not defiling what is sacred. He never saw it as members acting toward other members. In other words, he saw it as allowing (suffering) someone to kill you rather than talking about those things.

Honestly, no matter how others viewed it, my dad's understanding remains the only one that makes sense to me, given the actual wording that was used in that part of the endowment. Granted, that might be because it was my dad, but, even without that, if I looked at it without any pre-conceptions, my dad's explanation is what makes the most sense for the actual words.

Frankly, the penalties were dropped from the endowment because too many people didn't see them that way - because too many people saw them as punishments imposed from within the group.

If you are interested, my Sunday School lesson a couple of weeks ago was about the changes to the endowment and the Masonic symbols we use there. The link on my personal blog is:

http://thingsofmysoul.blogspot.com/2013 ... y-and.html
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Gerald
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by Gerald » 12 Aug 2013, 17:20

I was endowed pre1990 and remember the penalties well. I never interpreted them literally but simply a way to emphasize the importance of the covenants made. I liked it when they were eliminated because it made the sessions shorter and less complicated. But I never thought of them as some reflection of reality. The veiling of faces is just another sign of respect not a symbol of subservience (if that's the issue). Once you go through it a few times, the oddness wears off and you can focus on the nice symbolism that is present (or sleep as many do). And I don't think you can be sealed without going through the endowment first.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Aug 2013, 19:11

I forgot to address the other two things:

Veiling faces is a cultural artifact that I hope is changed at some point. Seriously, it's cultural, not eternal in any way. It's hard for most men to realize how hard it is for many women, and any positive symbolism that might have existed in the past has been lost in our modern culture.

Someone cannot be sealed without being endowed first - and I recommend NOT doing everything on one day. It's way too much and distracts from the sealing itself. I recommend going through prior to the sealing, having a week or so to process the good stuff and let go of the difficult stuff, then doing the sealing all by itself on a different day without doing the endowment again. You don't have to do the endowment on the same day as you are sealed, if you've done the endowment previously.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

conflicted testimony
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by conflicted testimony » 12 Aug 2013, 19:23

I hope they do away with the veiling.

I am sure that contributed to my bad experience in the temple. I have a neurological disability and it was not well controlled at the time - anything distracting or sudden (flash of light, someone moving suddenly, etc), or anything around my face causes my facial muscles to spasm - my eyes shut completely and will not open until the spasms stop. Painful and nasty.

I normally wear a hat with a very tight fitting (eg baseball cap) as it interrupts the neural pathways and protects me from light - obviously that is not appropriate in the temple!

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mackay11
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What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by mackay11 » 12 Aug 2013, 19:36

Just to clarify... As a post-1990 attendee, I don't know the penalties.

I didn't realise pre-90s attendees were under oath to not reveal the penalties.

And as for the idea that people would literally rather be killed than reveal the tokens/signs, I find that strange.

President Brigham Young gave this definition:
“Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell”
(Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1941], p. 416).

Does anyone really believe there will be an actual, literal procession of people at the gates of heaven being tested on various signs and tokens? I guess I never have.

For me, the symbol of having signs and token that we do not share with others are simply a principle that we can't walk into heaven for anyone else.

If older generations needed different symbols to teach that principle. But I do think people should stop taking the whole thing so literally.

GBSmith
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by GBSmith » 12 Aug 2013, 20:21

I was endowed in 1964 so remember all the penalties. As I understand it they are part of the current masonic ritual along with the signs and tokens but in the temple ritual the penalties were discontinued along with the five points of fellowship when the endowment was changed.

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mormonheretic
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by mormonheretic » 12 Aug 2013, 21:39

I remember the penalties, but as a 19-year old, I just thought they were weird hand signals that made absolutely no sense to me. I guess I was a bit dense. But now that I understand that they were masonic symbols, and were more literal than I had any idea, yes, I'm glad they are no longer there. But once again, at the time, I was pretty oblivious to what they meant. (Frankly, much of the symbolism in the temple still goes over my head.)

Curt Sunshine
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by Curt Sunshine » 12 Aug 2013, 23:31

Given how lots of people view talking about these things in detail, I am going to be careful in how I say this, but I meant it when I said that my father's interpretation is the only one that makes sense given the actual wording that was used.

The wording was very clear that the "penalties" were things that people would be willing to endure rather than reveal those aspects of the endowment - NOT what would happen to them if they did so. That is a critical distinction, since the second version ("You will be killed if you talk about these things.") just doesn't make sense with the actual wording.

That doesn't mean I liked that aspect, but it's why I didn't get my garment in a wad about it.

/end of rant :smile:
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

Ann
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Re: What's the truth? Temple endowment changes

Post by Ann » 12 Aug 2013, 23:53

Ray Degraw wrote:

The wording was very clear that the "penalties" were things that people would be willing to endure rather than reveal those aspects of the endowment. . . .
I also thought the wording made this very clear, but it was just one more thing that made the temple an un-beautiful experience for me. Not edifying in the least.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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