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THE MORMON TEMPLE
The Mormon Temple is the very heart of the system of Mormonism. It is here that certain "worthy Mormons perform secret ordinances that they believe will allow them to obtain the status of "a God" in the here after. Secret rituals are also done in behalf of the DEAD.
No worship services are held in this building and non Mormons are restricted from entering except for a brief period previous to its dedication. Strange as it may seem, only about 20% of the Mormon population have been through the temple ceremony and fewer than that attend regularly. Because the Mormon Church considers the temple ordinances "sacred," they have never published a complete dialog of the temple ceremony. The devout LDS will almost never talk about the secret activity that goes on behind temple doors.
However, there are numerous eye-witness accounts by "Temple Mormons" who became alienated from the church and have exposed all that goes on in the ceremony. Dozens of these accounts have been published over the years. One such testimony comes from a former temple "Veil Worker" who had performed over 1,000 temple ordinances! As recent as 1984, actual recordings have been made of the temple ceremony.
With all this information, we can accurately examine the secret activities performed in the LDS Temple. Certainly, truth has nothing to fear from investigation. The Bible even tells us to, "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (1 Thes.5:21).
Mormon Apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, gives this information about the "Temple Ordinances': "Certain gospel ordinances are of such a sacred and holy nature that the Lord authorizes their performance only in holy sanctuaries prepared and dedicated for that purpose." (Mormon Doctrine p. 779)
Although Mormons consider their temple ordinances as "sacred" the evidence that will be demonstrated here, proves they are far from "Holy" and certainty not Biblical.
One of the most pagan aspects of the temple ritual is the swearing of 3 specific oaths which involve the forfeiture of one's life as the penalty for revealing secret names, signs, or penalties given in the temple. Although modern temple Mormons still take these oaths, the wording has been changed to reduce the offensiveness of the penalty. The following compares the oaths that are pledged in Mormon Temples today, with testimonies of these same oaths as they were published in a book entitled, "Temple Mormonism" in 1931.
The first oath is considered the "First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood" and was printed as follows in 1931:
"We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so; WE AGREE THAT OUR THROATS BE CUT FROM EAR TO EAR AND OUR TONGUES TORN OUT BY THEIR ROOTS." (Temple Mormonism, p.18)
This oath has been changed as follows:
"I, __________ (think of the New Name) covenant that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, and penalty. RATHER THAN DO SO, I WOULD SUFFER MY LIFE TO BE TAKEN."
It is interesting to note that although the wording has been softened, the Officiator in the Temple Ceremony today, still demonstrates these instructions prior to the taking of the oath which must be followed by each temple patron:
"The execution of the penalty is represented by placing the thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand own, and by drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the hand to the side."
The second oath is considered the "Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood" and was printed as follows in 1931:
"We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, WE AGREE 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, page 20).
This promise has been changed to:
"I, _____________ (think of the first given name), covenant that I will never reveal the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, and penalty. RATHER THAN DO SO, I WOULD SUFFER (all patrons pause and bring right hand to left breast) MY LIFE (patrons draw hand across chest to right breast) TO BE TAKEN (patrons drop hands to side)."
The third oath is considered the "First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood" and was printed as follows in the book Temple Mormonism:
"We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. SHOULD WE DO SO, WE AGREE THAT OUR BODIES BE CUT ASUNDER IN THE MIDST AND ALL OUR BOWELS GUSH OUT" (Temple Mormonism, page 20)
This oath is now given as follows by modern Temple Mormons:
"I covenant in the name of the Son that I will never reveal the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, with its accompanying name, sign, and penalty, RATHER THAN DO SO, I WOULD SUFFER MY LIFE (patrons all draw their right thumb quickly across their body) TO BE TAKEN" (patrons all drop both hands to their sides).
OATH OF VENGEANCE
One of the temple oaths was such a source of trouble that it was removed entirely. This "oath of vengeance" was added to the temple ceremony after Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were murdered in the Carthage jail. It was finally removed completely in 1927.
Just after the turn of the century, Mormon leaders were questioned in court at great length concerning this oath by the United States Government. The investigation produced eye witness accounts which verified that the oath of vengeance against the United States was an obligation receive by Temple Mormons insubstantially these words:
"You and each of you do covenant and promise that you will pray and never cease to pray Almighty God to avenge the blood of the prophets upon this nation, and that you will teach the same to your children and to your children's children unto the third and fourth generation." (The Reed Smoot Case, Vol.4, pp. 495-496)
The conclusion of the US Senate committee was: "The obligation hereinbefore set forth is an oath of disloyalty to the Government which the rules of the Mormon Church require, or at least encourage, every member of that organization to take - - - the fact that the first presidency and twelve apostles retain an obligation of that nature in the ceremonies of the church shows that at heart they are hostile to this nation and disloyal to its Government." (The Reed Smoot Case, Vol. 4, pp. 496-497)
Even before Joseph Smith's death, this idea of "vengeance" was encouraged by Joseph Smith himself. The History of the Church gives this statement attributed to Joseph Smith: "I told Stephen Markham that if land Hyrum were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of God. I want Hyrum to live to avenge my blood, but he determined not to leave me." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, P. 546)
The oath of vengeance was of such a violent nature that some early Mormons understood it to mean that they were to personally avenge the blood of Joseph and Hyrum under certain circumstances. Under the date of Dec. 6, 1889, Apostle Abraham Cannon recorded the following in his diary:
"…. Father said that he understood when I had his endowments in Nauvoo that he took an oath against the murderers of the Prophet Joseph as well as other prophets, and if he had ever met any of those who had taken a hand in that massacre he would undoubtedly have attempted to avenge the blood of the martyrs." ("Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon" Dec. 6, 1889, page 205). In 1927, after years of criticism, the First Presidency ordered the complete removal of this oath.
WORK FOR THE DEAD
Not only do Mormons believe that secret temple rituals are necessary for their own salvation, but
they believe that certain ordinances such as baptism and marriage must also be performed in behalf of the DEAD.
Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, made this unbelievable announcement in a sermon given in 1844:
"The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith p.356)
Joseph Fielding Smith, who became the 10th Prophet of the LDS Church, says this about the "greatest commandment". "The greatest commandment given us, and made obligatory, is the temple work in our own behalf and in behalf of our dead." (Doctrine of Salvation, Vol.2, p.149)
Nowhere in the bible are we told to perform any rituals in behalf of the dead or that any work done for a dead person will somehow help him in the hereafter. In fact, contrary to Joseph Fielding Smith, Jesus said, that "the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor thyself. THERE IS NONE OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAN THESE" (Mark 12:29.31).
Because of the close association that temple Mormons have with the dead, many claim to actually have contact with the dead. Mormon President, Wilford Woodruff, delivered a discourse in the tabernacle in Salt Lake City where he made this shocking announcement:
". . . two weeks before I left St. George, the spirits of the dead gathered around me, wanting to know why we did not redeem them.... These were the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and they waited on me for two days and two nights.. . I straightway went into the baptismal font and called upon brother McCallister to baptize me for the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and fifty other eminent men, making one hundred in all, including John Wesley, Columbus, and others; I then baptized him for every President of the United States, except three; and when their cause is just, somebody will do the work for them." (Journal of Discourses, vol.19, p.229)
This man-made idea of attempting to redeem the dead is certainly out of harmony with the Word of God, the Bible. Psalms 49:7 clearly states, "None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him."
Among the many unchristian aspects of the temple ritual is the obligation to wear a secret
temple garment with mystical markings. This garment is to be worn next to the
skin for life and is only to be removed for changing or bathing, and for certain "public appearance" exceptions. This underwear is placed on the temple patron
by a temple worker after he or she has gone through a ceremonial washing of various parts of the body, which includes the anointing of the patron's genitals
by the oil moistened hand of the temple worker. He is told that this garment will be a "shield and a protection" against the power of the destroyer. While
the original temple garment came down to the wrists and ankles and was not to be altered, the modern temple garment has been abbreviated. Mormon leaders are now
placing more emphasis on the importance of the markings rather than the garment itself.
The mystical powers that these secret markings are believed to possess can be demonstrated by a letter sent from the First Presidency of the Mormon Church to presidents of stakes and bishops of wards in which the following appeared:
"Where military regulations require the weaving of two piece underwear, such underwear should be properly marked, as if the articles were of the normal pattern, If circumstances are such that different underwear may be turned back to the wearer from that which he sends to the laundry, then the marks should be placed on small pieces of cloth and sewed upon the underwear while being worn, then removed when the underwear is sent to the laundry, and resewed upon the underwear returned." (letter dated August 31, 1964)
It makes one wonder how people can get so committed to following their leaders that they would disregard their own ability to reason as well as shrug off guidance from the Word of God, the Bible. Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us where we should put our trust: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
While temple Mormons are taught that special undergarments will be a "shield and protection" to them, the Bible says that God and His Word is our shield: "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him" (Proverbs 30:5). "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the part" (Hebrews 4:12)
RIDICULE OF PREACHERS AND CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE
Many Mormons seem to
feel that the Mormon Church never ridicules others or their teachings, but the temple ceremony reveals just the opposite. One portion of the
temple ceremony referred to as, "The Lone and Dreary World," portrays Preachers as being employed by the devil. The following dialog is given:
LUCIFER: Do you preach the orthodox religion?
PREACHER: Yes, that is what I preach.
LUCIFER: If you preach your orthodox religion to these people and convert them, I will pay you well.
PREACHER: I will do my best.
Shortly after this,
the preacher asks Adam if he believes in a God who "fills the universe, and yet is so small that he can dwell in your heart; who is surrounded by myriads of
beings who have been saved by grace, not by any act of theirs, but by His good pleasure." Adam responds, "I do not." Several times in the same scene this
doctrine is considered 'false doctrine' which is intended to "lead the posterity of Adam astray." Yet Bible believing Christians DO believe in a God who fills
heaven and earth and is capable of dwelling in a man's heart. Jer.23:24 states:
"Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? Saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the
Lord." 2 Cor.6:16 further states: "...ye
are the temple of the living God; as God hath said I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."
Furthermore, nothing is more precious to individuals trusting in Christ than those who have humbled themselves before God and His matchless Grace that could
never be earned. Eph.2:8,9 gives this priceless information: "For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of your-selves: it is the gift of God; Not of works, least any man should boast."
No doubt, if knowledge of the temple ceremony would promote faith in the LDS Church, Mormons would be
eager to talk about it. But the fact that it is kept secret from the world and even from the bulk of its members, casts suspicion on its godliness.
Especially since Jesus made His teachings open to the whole world. When questioned about His doctrine, Jesus responded,
"I spoke openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue and temple, where the Jews abide and in secret have I said nothing" (Jn.18:20).
We encourage you to put your trust in the simple message found in Jn.3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."