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Why the temple ceremony was changed in 1990 - LDS-Mormon
Mormonism and the LDS Church ^ | unknown | anonymous

Posted on 10/14/2010 12:37:40 PM PDT by delacoert

Background surrounding the 1990 changes to the Mormon temple ceremony

As noted on page 218 of their recent book Mormon America, Richard and Joan Ostling point out that the main source of Mormon converts comes from people already familiar with some sort of Christian background or belief system:

"Mormonism succeeds by building on a preexisting Christian culture and by being seen as an add-on, drawing converts through a form of syncretism. Mormonism flourishes best in settings with some prior Christianization."
Syncretism means "the combination of different forms of belief or practice" and also "to unite and harmonize especially without critical examination or logical unity."

Since most Mormon converts in the 1970's and 1980's were coming from a Christian background, it was becoming apparent to LDS leaders in the 1980's that ridiculing the Protestant minister in the temple film was offensive to many new converts. There were even some reports of converts attending the temple once, and vowing to never return -- sometimes even refusing to return to any LDS meetings.

In 1987, David John Buerger (an active but liberal Mormon), published an article in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, a liberal Mormon publication which is not controlled by the LDS church. In the article, Buerger suggested that LDS church leaders needed to seriously consider making changes in the temple endowment ceremony to counter declining rates of attendance.

Although possibly just a coincidence, the Mormon Church issued a survey to about 3,400 members in Canada and the U.S. to determine members' opinions concerning temple work and various other topics only a few months after the 1987 Buerger article.

Soon after the 1988 survey, plans were underway to change the endowment ceremony again (the ceremony had been modified many times since its introduction in Nauvoo, Illinois in the early 1840's). In 1990, the revised ceremony became effective, and the Protestant minister was eliminated from the film.

Some of the key changes were:
1. Protestant minister paid by Lucifer to preach false doctrine was eliminated.
2. All penalties (and gestures like throat slashing, chest slashing and bowel slashing) were eliminated.
3. Women's promise to be obedient to husbands was modified.
4. The intimate position at the veil (foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand on shoulder and mouth to ear) was eliminated.
5. The strange words "Pay Lay Ale" (meaning "Oh God hear the words of my mouth") were eliminated.

Without question, most faithful Mormons would stand firm in their faith that any decision to change temple ceremonies would have to come by direct revelation from God. It's likely that few LDS members are even aware of the 1987 Dialogue article or the 1988 survey. Many endowed members first attended the temple after 1990 and have no idea about the old version of the ceremony. I've even heard reliable reports of members refusing to believe that older versions included the ridicule of a Protestant minister and bloody oaths. Of course, these people would avoid any information about older versions of the ceremonies in books or on the internet.

Critics and skeptical members might speculate that the 1987 article was one catalyst for the 1988 survey which was a catalyst for the 1990 changes. It's probable that the survey results indicated that a significant number of people were offended by various parts of the ceremony. In particular, many converts with a Christian background were highly offended by the part of the minister accepting employment from Satan ("Lucifer"), not to mention the bloody oaths and other things.

 


Quotes from David John Buerger's 1987 article:

Buerger acknowledged that there were "strong indications that Joseph Smith drew on the Masonic rites in shaping the temple endowment, and specifically borrowed the tokens, signs, and penalties."

"The number of operating temples has increased dramatically... An analysis of ordinance data, however, suggests that rates of temple work have remained relatively constant over the last fifteen years.... Members of my own stake made 2,671 visits to the Oakland Temple in 1985, versus 3,340 visits in 1984 - a 20 percent drop in activity.... Without comparing the policies of stakes in other temple districts, it is impossible to say how characteristic my stake might be."

"These declining rates suggest that many Latter-day Saints apparently do not participate extensively in either vicarious or living endowments. The need for reevaluation can at least be discussed. As the history of the endowment shows, specific content and procedural alterations were made in 1845, 1877, 1883, 1893, 1919-27, the early 1960s, and 1968-72…"

"The feelings contemporary Saints have for the temple certainly merit a careful quantitative analysis by professional social scientists. 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,' originating in the desires of a loving Father for his children.... some are also uncomfortable at the portrayal of a Christian minister as the hireling of Satan..."

"Sixth, the endowment ceremony still depicts women as subservient to men, not as equals in relating to God. For example, women covenant to obey their husbands in righteousness, while he is the one who acts as intermediary to God... Some find the temple irrelevant to the deeper currents of their Christian service and worship of God. Some admit to boredom. Others describe their motivations for continued and regular temple attendance as feelings of hope and patience - the faith that by continuing to participate they will develop more positive feelings... Often they feel unworthy or guilty because of these feelings since the temple is so unanimously presented as the pinnacle of spiritual experience for sincere Latter-day Saints.... The endowment has changed a great deal in response to community needs over time. Obviously it has the capability of changing still further if the need arises.... From a strictly functional perspective, the amount of time required to complete a vicarious endowment seems excessive." (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1987)

 


Survey of Adult Members in the United States and Canada

Instructions: "...we have developed this survey to help us understand your thoughts, feelings, and experiences relating to temple and genealogy activities.... along with you, approximately 3,400 other members in the United States and Canada are being asked to participate in this project.... We hope that you will feel you can be candid and open in your answers.... what you write will be anonymous. We will not be able to associate your name with the questionnaire you complete…This survey should be returned in the mail by March 30th, 1988…"

Survey question 28:
For a person who had been through the endowment ritual, "did you feel spiritually uplifted by the experience?" and "was the experience unpleasant?" and "were you confused by what happened?"

Survey question 29:
"Briefly describe how you felt after receiving your own endowment."

Survey question 37-k:
"Did you find it hard to go to the temple?"

Survey question 39-b:
"have you ever fallen asleep during sessions?"

Survey questions 70-a and 70-b:
"Do you believe the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a prophet of God?"
"Do you believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth?"

Survey question 77-g:
"Do you have any doubts about specific LDS doctrines and teachings?"

A page at the end of the Survey was left blank in case the person had "any additional things to write about your feelings or activities in temple or genealogical work..."


TOPICS: History; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: freemason; freemasonry; inman; lds; masons; mormonism
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1 posted on 10/14/2010 12:37:44 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: delacoert

We took a poll and concluded that there was no rock in the hat. All those in favor say, “aye.”


2 posted on 10/14/2010 12:39:57 PM PDT by colorcountry ("The power of facts is much greater than the power of argument.")
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To: delacoert

Oh my, I don’t have near enough popcorn for this thread! You might ask the same question about the ‘pre-existence council of gods who decdied that the plan Jesus offered was better than the plan his borther Lucifer offered’ ... a notion fundamental to Mormonism, that the leadership has only recently begun trying to hide from public scrutiny.


3 posted on 10/14/2010 12:41:00 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's nye impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: MHGinTN

Wow - part of that sounds very similar to the rituals of a certain fraternal organization I have heard a lot about.


4 posted on 10/14/2010 12:44:14 PM PDT by vivalaoink
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To: delacoert

Did they just steal all of the rituals from the Freemasons and adopt them as their own?


5 posted on 10/14/2010 12:45:20 PM PDT by vivalaoink
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To: MHGinTN; DelphiUser
Since most Mormon converts in the 1970's and 1980's were coming from a Christian background, it was becoming apparent to LDS leaders in the 1980's that ridiculing the Protestant minister in the temple film was offensive to many new converts.
. . . Protestant minister paid by Lucifer to preach false doctrine was eliminated.

I thought you said mormons didn't do that to Christians DU? Or is this a case where it is ok because mormons do (did) it in the temple and since they are the only true church (all others being false) they were permitted to get away with it.

6 posted on 10/14/2010 12:47:08 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: delacoert
The Mormons use a book with a title written on it that says, "Another Gospel". It's the Book of Mormon.

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:6-9.

They apparently unwittingly advertise they are scripturally an accursed cult.

7 posted on 10/14/2010 12:55:49 PM PDT by Jim 0216
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To: vivalaoink
Momron use of the name 'Lucifer' is far more damning than even most Momrons realize.

So why is Lucifer a far bigger problem to Mormons? Mormons claim that an ancient record (the Book of Mormon) was written beginning in about 600 BC, and the author in 600 BC supposedly copied Isaiah in Isaiah's original words. When Joseph Smith pretended to translate the supposed 'ancient record', he included the Lucifer verse in the Book of Mormon. Obviously he wasn't copying what Isaiah actually wrote. He was copying the King James Version of the Bible. Another book of LDS scripture, the Doctrine & Covenants, furthers this problem in 76:26 when it affirms the false Christian doctrine that "Lucifer" means Satan. This incorrect doctrine also spread into a third set of Mormon scriptures, the Pearl of Great Price, which describes a war in heaven based, in part, on Joseph Smith's incorrect interpretation of the word "Lucifer" which only appears in Isaiah.
[ http://www.lds-mormon.com/lucifer.shtml ]
8 posted on 10/14/2010 12:58:07 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's nye impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: DelphiUser; Stourme; Normandy; restornu; killermedic; Monkey Face
http://www.lds-mormon.com/lucifer.shtml
Lucifer: Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman language?
In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah 14:12 is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference.
Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus). The morning star appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name derives from the Latin term lucem ferre, bringer, or bearer, of light." In the Hebrew text the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which can best be translated as "Day star, son of the Dawn." The name evokes the golden glitter of a proud king's dress and court (much as his personal splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, "The Sun King").
The scholars authorized by ... King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated ... largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell.
So "Lucifer" is nothing more than an ancient Latin name for the morning star, the bringer of light. That can be confusing for Christians who identify Christ himself as the morning star, a term used as a central theme in many Christian sermons. Jesus refers to himself as the morning star in Revelation 22:16: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star."
9 posted on 10/14/2010 1:02:39 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's nye impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: Jim 0216

I would say that "unwitting" is a hallmark of Mormanity.

Mormon apologists, theologians and "scholars" are at the least intellectually … malformed.

10 posted on 10/14/2010 1:21:03 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: Jim 0216
The Mormons use a book with a title written on it that says, "Another Gospel". It's the Book of Mormon....They apparently unwittingly advertise they are scripturally an accursed cult.

That's it in a nutshell. Thanks for posting

11 posted on 10/14/2010 1:24:22 PM PDT by colorcountry ("The power of facts is much greater than the power of argument.")
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To: colorcountry
You're welcome.

BTW, what stopped them cold at my door - they did not have an answer for this - was that those that separate from and do not hear the Holy Spirit in the Body of Christ have a spirit of error.

We are of God: he that knows God hears us; he that is not of God does not hear us. Hereby we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. I John 4:6.

May God use use us to be a blessing to these people and by love and wisdom, win them.

12 posted on 10/14/2010 1:40:29 PM PDT by Jim 0216
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To: Jim 0216

What I think is interesting is that we have so many people here on this site who cannot handle Christians being critical of Mormon theology, wanting real answers for the problems we note in their own writings and practices, and claim this is being mean or picking on Mormons.

Yet in their own temple ceremonies, that they keep secret from non-Mormons, have a huge section devoted to ridiculing a Christian minister. Because they believe all Christian denominations are corrupted. They can be all nice and sweet but look what THEY believe and what THEY say in their secret ceremonies. Would the KKK be acceptable if they kept their racism in private but were all smiles and grins to blacks when in public?

Talk about rank hypocrisy and deliberate deceitfulness.

Also I am talking about the Mormon leadership and those that support and believe and teach these things. Obviously not all Mormons feel this way, as the article points out.


13 posted on 10/14/2010 1:58:34 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Secret Agent Man
What I think is interesting is that we have so many people here on this site who cannot handle Christians being critical of Mormon theology, wanting real answers for the problems we note in their own writings and practices, and claim this is being mean or picking on Mormons. Yet in their own temple ceremonies, that they keep secret from non-Mormons, have a huge section devoted to ridiculing a Christian minister.

Very valid point. In the past this 'victimization' card could be played because information was limited to non-mormons as to the more secret/sacred portions of mormonism. Now with the advent of the internet these things are more readily available - but old mormon habits die hard. So the same old tactics continue to rear their heads even today.

14 posted on 10/14/2010 2:14:35 PM PDT by Godzilla (3-7-77)
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To: delacoert; Jim 0216
Did someone say “whittingly”? Oh, "unwittingly". Close enough. Here’s another one for you…

Alma 42: 25 What, do ye suppose that mercy can rob justice? I say unto you, Nay; not one whit. If so, God would cease to be God. “

"...whit..."????

Origin:

1470–80; perh[aps] an alter[ation] of ME wiht

wiht origin:

From Germanic *wextiz. Cognate with Old Saxon wiht (Dutch wicht), Old High German wiht (German Wicht), Old Norse vættr (exceptional creature), vætr, véttr, or vétr (Danish vætte, Swedish vätte), Gothic (waihts).(ca. 12th c.)

[edit] Noun - wiht (plural wihtu)

creature, person, thing, being

Descendants: English: wight; whit

So here we have another example of a word used in the BoM whose origins can be traced as far back as the 12th century, but I can't trace it back any further.

How did such a word come to be used in a book supposedly written hundreds of years earlier and never be known in another language until the Norse, Germanic and Scandinavian cultures came onto the scene?

15 posted on 10/14/2010 2:21:49 PM PDT by SZonian (July 27, 2010. Life begins anew.)
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To: Secret Agent Man; Jim 0216

Agreed.

What it indicates is a failure to understand the danger, or even have a care about the danger of apostasy, and the soul-threatening intention of wolves in the flock.

In his rebuke that the Judaizers were "false believers," the Apostle Paul did not chose polite words even though that rebuke presumably included the Apostle Peter and other Christians of the Jerusalem Council.

The excessive phony niceness of holier-than-thou, weak-kneed Christians may play well in public, but there is a serious battle for the truth that must be waged at times within the framework of the visible church.

The enemy is within, the enemy has infiltrated the church.

Just sayin'.

16 posted on 10/14/2010 2:34:44 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: SZonian

Yeah, I'm with ya' here.

Pardon me if I pull no punches, and use your post to go farther than you would wish, but I have no problem directly impugning some Mormon leaders and apologists (right up to the level of the Quorum of the Twelve and Joseph Smith).

I have no problem believing that there are those who are entirely "whitting" in their deception.

17 posted on 10/14/2010 2:58:09 PM PDT by delacoert
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To: Godzilla

WHen I think about this, it just reminds me of ‘the guy’ who shakes your hand and gives you a big smile, acting like your best friend, but unknown to you, is screwing you right in front of your face.


18 posted on 10/14/2010 3:16:10 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: caww; CynicalBear

Also FYI ping


19 posted on 10/14/2010 3:25:16 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Some, believing they cannot be deceived, it's nye impossible to convince them when they're deceived.)
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To: delacoert

Forget the survey. I remember when the changes took place. The real impetus for the changes was an investiagaton by their leaders into Satanic Ritual Abuse and flashbacks during the temple Endowment as shown by this memo (verified by news outlets at the time to the LDS church). The silence on this matter and the changing of the supposedly ‘eternal’ temple ceremonies was a huge discussion in Utah in the early 1990’s.

The Glen Pace Memo:

http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no80.htm


20 posted on 10/14/2010 3:25:34 PM PDT by reaganaut (Ex Mormon, now Christian - "I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see")
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