Mormonism and temples/Endowment

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Mormonism and temples: Endowment

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.

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The Endowment

  • Adam-God and the "Lecture at the Veil"
    Brief Summary: Was "Adam-God" ever taught as part of the temple endowment ceremony? I've read about something called "the lecture at the veil" that was supposedly in the endowment at one time. (Click here for full article)
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  • Changes
    Brief Summary: Latter-day Saints believe that the Temple endowment is an eternal ordinance that Joseph Smith received by revelation from God. Why, then, have changes been made to it several times since it was first revealed? God’s directives and how He deals with His people may vary according to His people’s understanding and needs. God doesn’t tell everyone to build an ark and wait for a flood. Changes sometimes occur as a result of God dealing with His children according to their changing circumstances. (Click here for full article)
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  • Early Christian parallels
    Brief Summary: Latter-day Saint temple ritual, though it has some points of contact with nineteenth century ideas, also seems to have selected precisely those elements with analogues in early Christian practice, suggesting that Joseph Smith was indeed inspired to restore something genuinely Christian and genuinely ancient. (Click here for full article)
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  • Freemasonry
    Brief Summary: Some critics of Mormonism see similarities between the rites of Freemasonry and LDS temple ceremonies and assume that since Joseph Smith was initiated as a Freemason shortly before he introduced the Nauvoo-style endowment he must have plagiarized elements of the Masonic rituals. This viewpoint leads them, in turn, to conclude that the LDS endowment is nothing but a variant form of Masonic initiation and therefore not from a divine source. (Click here for full article)
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  • All Seeing Eye
    Brief Summary: The claim is sometimes made by critics that since the All-Seeing Eye of God is displayed on the exterior and interior of the Salt Lake Temple[1] and the All-Seeing Eye is an emblem utilized by the Freemasons then the Mormon usage must be an indication of a connection between Mormon temples and Freemasonry. (Click here for full article)
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  • Oath of vengeance
    Brief Summary: In nearly every anti-Mormon discussion of the temple, critics raise the issue of the "oath of vengeance" that existed during the 19th century and very early 20th century. These critics often misstate the nature of the oath and try to use its presence in the early temple endowment as evidence that the LDS temple ceremonies are ungodly, violent, and immoral. (Click here for full article)
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  • Penalties
    Brief Summary: Critics point out that a former version of the endowment used to contain mention of various "penalties" associated with the breaking of the temple covenants. They use this fact to claim that the temple encouraged violence or vengeance against those who violated its covenants, or that the Church sought to use fear to motivate members to keep their covenants, however, critics misrepresent this part of the temple ceremony, which is relatively easy to do since members endowed since April 1990 will have had no direct experience with the penalties mentioned. (Click here for full article)
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  • Consecration of time and talents to the Church
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that covenants that they make to consecrate all they they have to the Church implies that those who have been elected to political office must be subservient to the dictates of Church leaders rather than their constituents. (Click here for full article)
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  • Was the endowment introduced as a way of keeping polygamy a secret?
    Brief Summary: The original endowment ceremony presented in the Nauvoo Temple included instruction about polygamy. Was this done as a way to introduce members to the practice of plural marriage while keeping polygamy a secret? (Click here for full article)
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  • Garments
    Brief Summary: Hostile critics of the Restoration often mock the LDS practice of wearing temple garments. They refer to these ritual items of clothing as "magic underwear" in order to shock, ridicule and offend. (Click here for full article)
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  • Temple clothing
    Brief Summary: Responses to questions related to ritual temple clothing. (Click here for full article)
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