What do Nancy Pelosi and the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony have in common?

In March 2010 Nancy Pelosi infamously said, “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.” Her statement brought swift and strong denunciation from people all across America. To pass a law binding on all Americans before actually knowing what that law requires would be foolhardy and tremendously unwise.

The Bible tells us that we must always take care to “count the cost.” Jesus talked about applying wisdom to think through and fully understand any undertaking before beginning. While He was teaching the people about the high cost of following Him, Jesus said,

“Which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?” (Luke 14:28-31)

Nancy Pelosi’s imprudent suggestion to first pass the bill and then see what it says is similar to something found in the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony. During the introduction to the ceremony participants are advised,

“If you proceed and receive your full endowment, you will be required to take upon yourselves sacred obligations, the violation of which will bring upon you the judgment of God; for God will not be mocked. If any of you desire to withdraw rather than accept these obligations of your own free will and choice, you may now make it known by raising your hand.”

It is good to give people a chance to reconsider what they are about to do in receiving their temple endowment. However, at this point in the ritual, participants have no idea what sacred obligations lie ahead.

In fact, during the ceremony participants are required to “covenant and promise” to obey the Law of Obedience (i.e., keep the commandments), the Law of Sacrifice (i.e., sacrifice all for the building up of the Kingdom of God on earth, defined within Mormonism as the Mormon Church), the Law of the Gospel (i.e., avoid unholy and impure practices such as loud laughter and criticism of Mormon leaders), and the Law of Consecration (i.e., dedicate everything one has to the Kingdom of God on earth, that is, the Mormon Church). Additionally, participants must vow by covenant to “never reveal” the tokens, names and signs they receive in the temple.

But temple participants do not know any of this at the time they are offered the opportunity to withdraw; therefore, virtually all Mormons continue with the Endowment Ceremony.

It is as if they are told, “You have to go through the temple ceremony so that you can find out what is in it.”

By the time Mormons leave the temple they have promised God that they will keep every commandment, sacrifice everything they have, and dedicate all they are or ever will be to the building up and success of their church.

Those are audacious vows to make in light of the warning that to fail in any of them will result in bringing down the judgment of God.

It seems irresponsible for the Mormon Church to encourage members to take on unknown sacred obligations that carry such severe penalties – an action that is in direct opposition to the teaching of Scripture.

The Mormon Church demands silence (vows of secrecy) regarding the Endowment Ceremony. A Mormon cannot “count the cost” or “sit down first and deliberate whether he is able” to fulfill his temple vows for he does not know what they will be.

Proverbs 20:25 offers this wisdom: “It is a snare to say rashly, ‘It is holy,’ and to reflect only after making vows.”

Mormons, know what you are getting yourselves into. Take heed that you do not become ensnared (2 Timothy 2:26).

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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30 Responses to What do Nancy Pelosi and the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony have in common?

  1. shematwater says:

    I will not comment directly on any of the Temple Ceremonies. I will say this, however.

    You mention for things covenanted to keep, and claim that people don’t know what they are before receiving the ordinance. This is not true, which is why very few elect to leave the ceremony. A full and deep understanding may not be there, but these things are taught to all people, and truly re-enforce covenants already made.
    For instance, at baptism we covenant to keep all the commandments, refrain from that which is unholy, and dedicate all that we have to God and His kingdom. We also covenant to sacrifice all that God requires of us in the building up of his kingdom. These covenants are renewed every Sunday with the sacrament.
    The only real difference is the level of commitment that is now required. With baptism and the sacrament we are not putting quite so much on the line, and are not receiving quite the same blessings in return. Baptism is the gate to the Celestial Kingdom, but the Temple is the Gate to Exaltation. With the greater promise comes the greater commitment to these laws.

    When people are told of the seriousness of what they are about to do it is not because they don’t know what it is, but because they do know and should not accept it lightly. No, they do not know the details, or all that is taught them during this ceremony. But they know the covenants long before they enter the Temple.

  2. Mike R says:

    Shem, you said, ” No, they do not know the details , or all that is taught them during this
    ceremony .”
    Is’nt that the point being made here in this thread ? People should be told all that they’re getting
    into and promising to do , not just a few details. There are testimonies that people were
    shocked at having to mimic the “penalties” for divulging some parts of the secret ritual . This
    part of the ritual was finally discarded by Mormon hierarchy ( and it looks like this was the
    result of a poll taken by them inquiring about the peoples experiences in this ceremony).
    Would’nt be grand to lock the doors of the Temple open so everyone comes in to worship ?
    That seems more in tune with Jesus’ new covenant and what he established as His church .
    LDS don’t need their Temple with it’s required entrance examine . May the Mormon people
    come to see Jesus as their Temple recommend . It is through that door[Jn 10:9 ] that people
    have access [Eph 2:18] to God’s house in heaven .

  3. LWG says:

    The introduction in the Temple refers to a threat that “God will not be mocked!” to emphasize the requirement for secrecy. The closest biblical verse to support the words and inflection are in:
    Galations 6: 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. KJV
    The context gives no support of a penalty for disclosing any of Gods secrets. The New Testament has 14 references to the MOCKING of Jesus during His trial and death. The D&C has 3 references to the dangers of mocking God for witholding money from several of Joseph’s projects. The BOM has lots of references of mocking by unbelievers, but no support of judgment by God in this context. The Temple ceremony needs to be revised to omit the threat of wrath for disclosing any details of what goes on. It’s not secret! Why put patrons under oath with threats of Gods wrath and punishment? WHY?

  4. Rick B says:

    The problem I have with the LDS temples is, they simply are not biblical. Supposedly Mormonism is a restoration of Early Christianity. Yet in the NT we dont find the use of temples, we only hear about one and how it will be destroyed. The way temples were run in the OT is nothing like how LDS run their temples.

    We can read the OT and know who was allowed in them, Gentiles were not, they only had the outer court called, the court of the gentiles. Then the High priest was only allowed into the holiest part once a year. Also we have in the NT after Jesus died, the Veil was torn in two, no longer do we need temples.

    So you guys can claim what you want about how sacred the temples are, they simply are not biblical, and cannot be supported in the Bible and are not from or of Jesus, or God. They are JS man made temples.

  5. Ralph says:


    If memory serves me correctly you have misrepresented one, possibly two of the covenants and missed one.

    The definite misrepresentation is the Law of Sacrifice which is to build up the Kingdom of God on this earth, not “sacrifice all for the building up of the Mormon Church”. The distinction being that we do believe that this is God’s kingdom on this earth. You would do the same wouldn’t you if you needed to, sacrifice your all for the building up of God’s kingdom on this earth if it’s the one you believe in, wouldn’t you? I think the Law of Consecration is the same, its for the kingdom of God, not for the Mormon church as you have written it out. Yes I do understand that you believe that that’s what it means because you do not believe that the Mormon church is the kingdom of God, but you do need to make a true representation of the facts, not your interpretation or bias.

    The one you missed out on is the Law of Chastity.

    As Shem said, we covenant all of these at baptism and they are all taught in the scriptures. When I was being taught about the temple my stake president told me about these and what they were so I knew before going in what to expect. I also know others who were taught the same way and had pre-knowledge of what to expect. I guess it all depends on the area/people you live in/with as to what is taught before temple entry. There is a time and a place as the Bible states for everything. I don’t mind discussing the temple endowment under tthe right circumstances but not on an open forum like this.

  6. Ralph,

    Thanks for your comment. Mormonism teaches that “the Kingdom of God on earth” is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is a fact you also mention in your comment. I have not misrepresented the temple vows. That temple patrons covenant to sacrifice and consecrate all to their church is not my “interpretation” or “bias,” it is a true summary representation of what the vow entails according to Church doctrine. I wasn’t quoting the temple ceremony; I was merely explaining it. Nevertheless, I’ll happily add some clarification to the post.

  7. Ralph says:

    Thanks for adding the clarification in.

    Look at it from this perspective, there are many in the Christian community that state that they are non-denominational and they do not believe in organised religion and do not attend any church at all because of this. They state that they have consecrated their lives over to Jesus and will give their all to building up His work on this earth.

    From an LDS perspective, this person is in the wrong faith, so what this person is saying is that they have consecrated their life to Jesus and their all to their own work/lifestyle as they do not subscribe to anything but their own interpretation of the Bible. So what would be the best way to say this, that –

    1 these people are just in it for themselves or

    2 that they are trying to please God within their parameters of faith but that because I disagree with them, from my understanding of their faith they are doing for themselves?

    That is why I wanted the clarification. Yes the LDS church teaches that it is the Kingdom of God on this earth, but so does other Christian churches and faiths. So we are, in our faith, doing just what other Christians out there say they are doing, consecrating their all to their God.

    Hopefully this is understandable, I did fail English at school.

  8. falcon says:

    Can anyone tell me where these Mormon temple ceremonies come from. That is, what is there source.
    “So why are the signs and tokens, which the temple ceremony revolves around, virtually the exact same as used by the Masons? Faithful members will often give the only possible answer and that is the belief that the Masons had the temple knowledge since Solomon’s time.”

    “However this is disproved by Mason’s historians who state that Masonry originated with the stone-cutter trade guilds of Medieval Europe and have absolutely nothing to do with King Solomon’s temple. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, the pro-LDS apologetic organization FAIR also confirms that the Masons did not have the ceremony since Solomon’s time and that it is only a myth.”

    The fact of the matter is that Joseph Smith was a Mason and he appropriated the use of their ceremonies for his new religion. This was nothing new for Smith as he was constantly borrowing and adapting ideas, molding them to his own thoughts and whims. This is true of the BoM, the Celestial Kingdom and polygamy.
    This trend continued in Mormonism as we see “doctrines” emerge and then get discarded when they fall out of favor. There isn’t a restoration of anything Biblical or of first century origin within Mormonism. It seems that Mormons give no thought to the fact that their doctrines and teachings are borrowed or just plain manufactured out of whole cloth by those claiming to be prophets.
    I sincerely don’t know why Mormons can’t look at the facts and figure out that this is a false religion from top to bottom.
    I know, it makes them feel good so it has to be true!

  9. Mike R says:

    I guess it comes down to a choice of what apostles and the gospel they offer, either the gospel
    of salvation preached by Jesus’ original apostles as recorded in the N. T. or what Mormon
    leaders have promoted as the gospel of salvation. What Paul taught in his travels was the
    gospel of salvation , how a person could receive complete forgiveness , the fullest of blessings
    of eternal life with God in His presence in heaven –Rom 1:16 . Now some 1900 years later we
    see a latter days prophet preaching that only through certain Temple ceremonies can a person
    eventually gain eternal life . Rituals in this temple include receiving a secret name and
    hand shakes as well as promising not to divulge these to outsiders under severe penalties
    ( symbolically mimicking having your throat slit from ear to ear ; in 1990 this part
    of the ritual was finally deleted ). One such Temple ordinance that Mormon apostles
    added as a requirement for gaining eternal life is that of celestial marriage : ” Only through
    celestial marriage can one find the straight way, the narrow path. Eternal life cannot be had
    in any other way ” and , ” without it there can be no salvation in the eternal world , no eternal
    life.” [ Spencer Kimball Des. News ,Church sec. 11-12-1977 ; Achieving a Celestial
    Marriage p 204] .
    Teachings such as this stand in stark contrast to Paul’s salvation message . So a choice
    should be made : either his gospel or his gospel revised by additions from men in these last
    days who come claiming to be prophets/apostles — Matt 24:11 ; 2Cor 11:4,13

  10. shematwater says:


    “People should be told all that they’re getting into and promising to do , not just a few details.”

    First of all, you don’t understand what I am saying. We know what we are getting into before we enter the temple. That is my point.
    The details we don’t have are the lessons that are taught during those ceremonies and ordinances. There are great truths that are only revealed during the endowment, and are not taught to the world, for the world is not ready to receive them. But those who seek to enter the temple and receive this endowment are well informed that they will be receiving this additional knowledge, as well as the covenants that they will be making in doing so.

    Speaking of the part of the ceremony that was removed, I don’t think many people understand it. I have not personally participated in it, but my mother has and this is what she told me the meaning of it was.
    It is not to convey the penalty that will be inflicted for disclosing what you have covenanted not to. It is a symbolism of what you should be willing to endure rather than break the covenants made.
    In other words, it is not saying “this will happen if you violate this covenant.” It is saying “You should be willing to endure the most agonizing torture rather than to violate the covenant.”

    A much different meaning than what people want to place on it, don’t you think?


    As you can read in my comments to Mike, this is not a threat, and should not be taken as such. The penalty for mocking God is being denied the blessings that could otherwise have been attained.

  11. LWG says:

    The Introduction by the second lecturer immediately preceding the Endowment Ceremony is given as follows:
    “If you proceed and receive your full endowment, you will be required to take upon yourselves sacred obligations, the violation of which will bring upon you the judgment of God; for God will not be mocked.”
    This is given with a recording and has been used in temples around the world since 1990. For the emphasis and inflection of the recording go to 3:10 sec:
    I can’t read this to mean a withholding of blessings! It is clearly the JUDGMENT of GOD! Sharon could be persuaded to do a column on just what that phrase means, I think.

  12. Mike R says:

    Shem, thanks for the reply. I realize that this topic is something that you as a Mormon hold
    to be personal and I do not wish to cause you to be uncomfortable in discussing it in depth , but I
    also read where this is considered part of what Mormons claim is Jesus’ gospel and as such
    it should be preached publically by Mormon Missionaries . The gospel that I embrace has no
    such deep secret rituals that cannot be talked about publically . But again we have different
    gospels . Now as far as Mormons who have never been to the Temple knowing or not knowing
    all what they will be taught once inside I have to say that what you said still tells me that not
    everything is told them in advance , and Church curriculum states that some things done in the
    Temple are forbidden to be discussed outside the Temple by anyone . That seems clear to me.
    As far as your mother’s personal opinion , I can understand that . Perhaps she merely is trying
    to soften a part of the ritual that more than a few LDS found to be shocking , but I don’t know .
    I can’t speak disparagingly about your mother or the way she answered your inquiry so it seems
    that the best course in this is to see what the actual wording of that part of the ritual says .

  13. falcon says:

    I guess my mind works on a very simple level sometimes because I don’t get why Mormons can’t figure out the bogus origin of the temple ceremonies. Joesph Smith used the ceremonies as a way of seducing and indoctrinating his prospects with fear.
    I’ve read countless accounts of former Mormons giving their impression of the rituals. Quite often what was sold to them as the most spiritual experience they will ever have, turns out to be confusing and just plain weird. It’s often described as being frightening. For those who have such a reaction, the advice given to them is to just keep going. This is the process of desensitization so eventually what was frightening often becomes boring.
    I read about one guy who was going through the temple for the first time and his father and other relatives were working the show and when he saw how they were dressed he could hardly contain his laughter. He saw the program for what it was; a creation by man to mimic some sort of religious rite.
    I would tell Mormons that the whole temple program is one more reason to get out, and fast.

  14. shematwater says:


    The judgments of God can be many things, as is clearly shown in the Bible. The Flood was the judgment of God against all the inhabitants of the earth except Noah and those on the ark. Sodom and Gomorrah experienced the judgment of God. Israel frequently experienced the judgment of God through plagues, famines, droughts, and wars.
    But it is also the casting out of the wicked from among the righteous. It is the consigning of men to Hell for their actions. It is the loss of blessings that could have been received.
    The physical wrath that levels cities and kills thousands are reserved for the extreme circumstances when an entire culture becomes wicked; or when an individual has attained the highest of all earthly honors from God, and then turns against Him. And this does not qualify.

    You say you can’t read it to mean this, and that is your problem. You are imposing your own ideas and concepts unto the words of others, which never works out. Simply put, it doesn’t matter what you take it to mean; it only matters what the speaker meant it to mean.


    Matthew 7: 6
    “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

    Christ taught that there are things that are not to be given to the world.

    Matthew 13: 10-11
    And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them inparables?
    11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    Christ spoke in parables for the express purpose of keeping things hidden from the world.

  15. LWG says:

    Shem, Thanks for clarifacition. I will accept the statement that the Judgement of God means “Loss of Blessings” in mormon speak. I look forward to Confrence and a word from the prophet on this. As a excomunicated Mormon I’m comforted that I’ll just miss out on a few blessings. “Bless this food to the nourishment of our bodies.” “Bless us as we travel today.” “Bless this gathering that what we say may be pleasing…”.
    I still wonder why this is not clearly explained in the Temple preperation classes or the actual Endowment ceremony. Listen to the link I posted earlier and you can see my concern. It still sounds like outer darkness to me!

  16. Mike R says:

    Shem, it’s very late so I’ll make just a few comments on your reply . The two verses you cited
    in an effort to justify the secret parts of your Temple endowment ceremony , things that
    LDS are counseled not to talk about outside the Temple , hardly fit this context . Sometimes
    it’s easy to lift a verse out of it’s time frame or setting etc. Matt 7 : 6 is talking about wasting
    our time ministering to a person who is not sincere or wants nothing to do with our message.
    This hardly fits the context of a sincere person wanting to ask questions about what goes on
    in a Mormon Temple , especially since what goes in there is said to be an important part of
    Jesus’ gospel of salvation. Matt 13:10-11 is the question of speaking in parables to
    everyone what is being communicated here ? I might lift Matt 16:20 out of it’s context and
    never tell anyone about Jesus being the Christ . What did Jesus’ apostles preach in their travels
    after His resurrection? What was the gospel of salvation they preached–Rom 1:16 ? This is
    the whole point with Mormon Temple rituals , they’re either Jesus’ gospel or another gospel .
    Now with all due respect to your Mom and the answer she gave to you about the penalties
    in the Endowment ceremony , that sounds a little to much like a new apologetic response she
    heard from someone . As you did not personally partake of mimicking these penalties I have
    to listen to others who did in fact swear those oaths since I’ve read the wording and I don’t see
    your Mom’s position there.

  17. Mike R says:

    LWG, rather than taking in the upcoming Conf. and seeking to hear from the Mormon prophet
    I’d like to encourage you to instead take the time to get alone with God and open up the Bible
    and meditate on the scriptures . If you’ve been ex-communicated this can be a time to seek
    what God has for you concerning a relationship with Him .

  18. LWG says:

    Thanks Mike, I really expect Thomas Monson to be deposed this next conference. I remember the problems with Ezra Taft Bensen during his declining years.
    Watch B.K. (You can’t leave it alone) Packer carefully. He may crack a smile as he contemplates his leadership the new little factory.

  19. LWG says:

    Shem, I just reviewed the penaltys included in the ceremony . Talk to me about withholding blessings!
    Before April of 1990, patrons made certain oaths along with signs showing the “penalty” for divulging the aforementioned tokens. For instance, after the patron was given the “First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood,” he was instructed to place his right “thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand down, and by drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the hand to the side.” A promise was then made that the person would suffer his “life to be taken” rather than reveal the token. In the earlier days, members had to be more specific with their oaths. They had to promise that, if the secret was ever revealed, their throats would be “cut from ear to ear” and their “tongues torn out by their roots” (Temple Mormonism, pg.18).

    Members were also compelled to make another oath accompanied by a sign representing the penalty for divulging the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood. By promising that they would rather die than divulge the secret, they would draw their right hands (in cupping shape) across their chests. Again, this oath has been toned down. Earlier Mormons agreed to “have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field” (Temple Mormonism, pg.20).

    A third oath was given when the patron received the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood. This penalty was represented by drawing the right thumb (palm downward) quickly across the stomach area. Earlier oaths made members promise that their “bodies be cut asunder in the midst of all and the bowels gush out”

  20. Rick B says:

    you must understand this since your a former mormon. It really does not matter what was taught and believed years ago by mormons, Times change, their doctrines change, God changes , so it really does not matter what you were taught and believed at one time. Mormons can easily explain all these changes and lack of evidence. And they are OK with this ever changing doctrine and church.

  21. Mike R says:

    Mormon researcher , David John Buerger commenting on reasons that might help explain
    the declining rates of Mormons participating in Temple activity in the 1980’s wrote :
    ” I have heard a number of themes from people who feel discomfort in one degree or
    another with elements of the Temple ceremony …Probably in no other settings except
    college organizations , with their attendant associations of youthfulness and possibly
    immaturity , do most Mormons encounter secret ceremonies with code handshakes ,
    clothing that has particular significance , and perhaps most disturbing to some , the
    implied violence of the penalties. Various individuals have commented on their difficulty
    in seeing these elements as ‘ religious’ or ‘ inspirational ‘ …..some are also uncomfortable
    at a portrayal of a Christian minister as the hireling of Satan…” [ Dialogue , Journal of
    Mormon Thought winter 1987 , p 66 cited in the Salt Lake Messenger , issue #75
    July 1990].
    Certainly the Mormon leadership can hold whatever kind of ceremonies in their Temples
    as they desire . But to call this a important part Jesus’ gospel , to teach that the Endowment
    ceremony is a necessary step to achieve eternal life [ exaltation] is to wander from the
    truth , it’s best described as ” teaching for doctrine the commandments of men ” .
    May the Mormon people take time to read the New Testament and what it reveals
    about Temples and about Jesus . For those LDS who come to realize the simple
    truth revealed by Jesus about the only door to God’s house –Jn10:9 , they will
    see there’s never a need for secret handshakes nor oaths with violent penalties.

  22. falcon says:

    Mormons are placing a whole lot of hope on a concept, a system, that has no basis in reality. Even a cursory examination of the faux temple and the rituals that take place there reveals borrowed ceremonies with no basis in spiritual reality.
    Mormons, however, have a difficult time seeing it because they’ve placed their spiritual hopes and dreams and their eternal destiny on what they desire. For women the “hook” is a forever family who will move through eternity with one another, never separated. For the men it means the ultimate promotion that comes with the key to the executive washroom and a meal ticket to the executive dinning room.
    The men and women think they will become gods and goddesses based on their participation in certain rituals, their paying of 10% of their income to the religious system, clean living and of course slavish devotion to the religious hierarchy. They suppose this is how first century Christians practiced the faith which sprang from Judaism and brought forth by Jesus the Messiah.
    The problem is that no such Mormon religion ever existed. There is no record of it in the Bible, in the writings of the Church Fathers or even the heretics and there is no tradition in the Church for any of it. Sadly, for Mormons, the temple and its rituals were borrowed from the fraternal organization of which Joseph Smith was a member, the Masons, and melded into his fledgling religion.
    In some ways you have to hand it to Smith. He was an inventive fellow. He put together a book that borrowed a premise from a common theory of the time and called it scripture. He lifted the idea of a priesthood from the OT.
    Desire for something to be true, doesn’t make it true.

  23. falcon says:

    Jesus just doesn’t to seem to have been enough for Joseph Smith. For him, Jesus was a sort of an add-on. A convenient name for his religion in order to claim it was Christianity. It was sort of what happens today when food manufactures put the word “light” on their product even though the product has none of the features that would call for the label.
    Jesus is sufficient for those who have faith in Him for eternal life. Nothing can be added to the sacrifice Jesus made for sin on the cross. The shed blood of the Lamb who was without spot or blemish was “all” that the Father required to put mankind right with Him. When we use the word “all” of course, we are talking about the tendency of some folks to want to add additional things to what Jesus did (on the cross). How prideful or egocentric to think that man could do more than what God requires.
    Temple rituals are a very bad joke. The thought that people could put on costumes and parade through a building doing certain gestures and repeating various “tokens” and have an actual outcome is delusional.
    The idea that God would offer the gift of eternal life based solely on “faith” appears ludicrous to the works minded individual. But how foolish to think that the wisdom of man could add anything to the wisdom of God. God, in His “foolishness”, designed an antidote to our sin sickness. Sin is rebellion against God. Mormons commit the ultimate rebellion by first of all supplanting God with a god of their own creation, themselves.
    If only they would come to know the Living God in all of His might and glory.

  24. Mike R says:

    There’s been some good happenings in Mormonism the last decade or so concerning their
    Temple worship. One example is that after so many years of denying that parts of Temple
    activity is to be kept secret and not talked about to non-Mormons , some influential LDS
    have admitted that in fact some parts are to be kept secret . Another example is how in 1990
    the violent gestures of the penalties for divulging Endowment secrets was finally dropped
    from the ceremony . There were reports of LDS being extremely troubled by mimicking
    these gestures . Hopefully, another shift will soon take place that brings Mormons more in
    line with worship in the church Jesus established and revealed in the New Testament .
    In sharp contrast to the picture we glean from the apostles teachings about worship in the
    N.T. Church we see Mormon prophets lock their temple doors to all except those they feel
    meet certain requirements and are deemed ‘worthy” to participate in private rituals
    and swear oaths of secrecy . According to ex-Mormon Latayne Scott the first Mormon
    Temple ( Kirkland, Ohio) was open for public worship and free from secret rituals . That would
    place it more in line with the worship in Jesus’ church , unfortunately however Smith slowly
    wandered away from this by introducing his own ideas and thus creating a man-made ritual .
    Interestingly, according to Scott the RLDS owns ( late 1970’s) the Kirkland Temple and holds
    meetings there open to the public –yet they’re an apostate group according to the Mormon
    hierarchy in Utah. Concerning what they did with their Temple , Mormon prophets appear
    to be the ones who drifted into a apostasy.

  25. falcon says:

    The idea that the temple ceremonies are to be kept secret is all apart of selling the notion that the folks who practice them are very special and an “in” group at the top of a spiritual hierarchy. This ladder of success exists within Mormonism as the high flyer dudes that think they have some sort of power and authority with a faux priesthood, jokey for position at the top.
    The entire hierarchy of the Mormon church is more political than it is spiritual. Who gets to the top? Is it a John the Baptist type character? I don’t think so. The men at the top aren’t called by any sort of a god but are just better at playing the game within the system. Figure out the system and the ambitious Mormon can get to a higher point on the pyramid of religious success.
    Who’d want to give that up? Not a prideful man.
    The life of the Christian is predicated first and foremost on a relationship with Our Lord and Savior. It has nothing to do with dressing up in costumes and performing rituals in buildings made by the hands of man. The Christian walk is by the Spirit and not in the flesh. Mormonism is a religion based on the flesh with enough emotion stuck in so as to be mistaken for the Spirit.
    Jesus death, burial and resurrection brought an end to the law and its requirements. He said that the time was coming when men would worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth.
    Mormons do neither. They are stuck in a religious system created by a man and meant to glorify men.

  26. shematwater says:


    The blessings are great that are lost, and it does involve outer darkness. The prison that the spirits of the wicked are consigned to after death is referred to as outer darkness; and that is where those who violate these covenants will end up if they do not repent. And since they have had the opportunity in this life not only to accept but to participate in these ordinances and covenants they will not receive the chance later, but will have their reward.
    The blessings are indeed great, and the consequences are indeed severe.
    As to the oaths and penalties, if you will refer back to my older posts you will find what these were truly intended to convey, which is not what people want to make out.

  27. shematwater says:


    The oaths you speak of are the same as they have always been. The ceremony accompanying them may have changed, but they have not.
    Now, you can take the word of whoever you want. However, I can state for a fact that what my mother told me was not given to her by any apologist or anything of the kind. It was her experience in the Temple, and her participation in the ceremony that taught her what she believes.

    Speaking of the verses I gave, they fit perfectly well. My point was that Christ taught that some things are to be kept secret, hidden from the world. I agree that he did not intend to keep them secret from the honest seeker of truth, but then we don’t either. We hold them sacred, and thus we do not give them to the dogs; meaning we do not discuss them openly with those whose only intent is to tear down and destroy this great work.
    However, the honest seeker will accept that he must receive things by degrees, for God has said that he teaches ‘line upon line, and precept upon precept.” Thus they will be satisfied to learn things in the order they are given, ever progressing until they reach a perfect knowledge of all things. This is the way we teach and how we learn.
    Simply put, anyone can learn these great truths, if they seek them in the proper way. There is nothing withheld from the honest, humble seeker.

    However, those who want everything first are neither humble, nor honest, and thus they are the swine, not caring for real truth, but trampling it under their feet and attacking those who gladly teach them if they but humble

  28. Mike R says:

    Shem, what you stated makes little sense. You were all over the map in your attempt to justify
    secret rituals , names, handshakes , penalties as being an important part of Jesus’ gospel of
    salvation , a salvation that is only available by joining the Mormon church and the highest
    blessings of which are attained only through their Temple. Nothing could be farther from the
    gospel message preached by Jesus’ original apostles after His resurrection .The statement
    in Matt 13 that you cited is correct if we realize the timing in which it was made –Jesus was
    not ready to reveal is true identity or more information to everyone He spoke to —especially
    most Jewish leaders. But after His resurrection He sent out His apostles with the message of
    salvation , and that message did not contain the neccessity of partaking in some secret
    rituals with secret passwords, handshakes and swearing bloody penalties . This same
    message is still available today free of such man made teachings which are more akin to a college
    fraternity ritual than what Jesus’ apostles preached as the way to receive a right relationship
    with God in this life , and eternal life in the next –Rom 1:16 .
    Your “line upon line”/ learning everything in the order they are given ” is no answer to
    the question being spotlighted here, namely that ANY sincere person can ask
    questions but that there is still some information that will be withheld from them since LDS
    are under obligation to not discuss some things said and done in the Temple outside the Temple.
    Bottom line : this whole temple endowment ritual is not necessary for anyone seeking a simple
    dynamic relationship with God–Jn14:6; Heb 7:25

  29. shematwater says:


    I think I am done with this thread. What I said was simple, and should have been easily understood. In fact I am persuaded that you did understand me by comments made later. You can interpret things however you want; it still does not make it true.

    The mysteries of God’s kingdom have always been kept hidden from the world; given only to the faithful followers of Christ when sufficiently prepared. This is so clearly taught throughout the Bible that to reject it seems senseless.

  30. Mike R says:

    Shem, I agree that it’s time to move on . I thank God that the gospel that saves , what’s necessary
    to gain eternal life and the presence of God in heaven with the fullest blessings thereof , can be
    preached to everyone who is present to hear and have questions to ask . No keeping this good
    news hidden —1Cor.9:16 ; 1Pt. 3:15

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