Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Q. lds temple ceremonies featuring disembowelment and vengeance?

i don't know what my question is other than "WTF!?"
my experience of the temple has always been a place of peace, and i have never felt anything to the contrary. recently i saw a video on youtube claiming to be a temple endowment ceremony (of which i have participated in many times), but it was mentioning horrid things such as disembowelment and slitting of throats and i was like "yeah right, this is completely bogus". but somebody commented that it was like this a long time ago. i asked my mother if it was true and she said yes. then she said that the church changed it because it resembled something from the mafia of that time (these are her words).
i think that if the endowment had still been like this the first time i visited the temple, i would have gotten up and left.

i found a supposed 1937 documentation of endowment penalties which include:
#l we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tonques torn out by the roots...all bow your heads and say yes.
#2 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 beasts of the field.
#3 Should we do so, we agree that our bodies be cut asunder in the midst and all our bowels gush out.
the same page also mentions a law of vengeance:
"Law of Vengeance: You and each of you do solemnly promise and vow that you will pray, and never cease to pray, and never cease to importune high heaven to avenge the blood of the Prophets on this nation, and that you will teach this to your children and you children's children unto the 3rd and 4th generation. All bow your heads and say yes."

i guess my question is: "how could something so contrary to the gospel of jesus christ be taught as a core part of the most holy ceremonies of the church?"

i have not verified this and would like a concrete link to documentation if someone has it.

update: read this penalties article on the fairlds wiki. also How does one explain similarities between Masonic and temple ritual? especially where it says:
Mr. Norton speaks obliquely here. I, however, will be more direct. What Mr. Norton refers to are the penalties (hand actions representing penalties) that were removed from the endowment ritual in 1990. Mr. Norton seems unaware that the endowment ritual has undergone many changes over the years. The ritual is changed to meet the needs of members and to better communicate the endowment to them. Remember, there is a difference between the endowment ritual and the endowment itself. The ritual is not the endowment, but how the endowment is taught--in much the same way that the Catholic Mass is not Holy Communion but how Holy Communion is given to the congregation.

When Joseph was first trying to communicate the truths of the endowment he used a ritual form familiar to the saints of his day. That ritual form was, in some respects, Masonic in nature. As the saints lost their connection to Masonry the symbolic meaning of the penalties and other Masonic elements was lost as well. They became meaningless to all but a few Latter-day Saint Freemasons. So the penalties were removed along with other elements both Masonic and non-Masonic which no longer served the purpose of communicating the truths of the endowment.

i will still like an exact transcription of this portion of the endowment though to review it for myself.

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