Recovery from Mormonism

Subject: Washings and annointings
Date: Jun 01 21:05
Author: Springblossom
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Can those of you who went through the temple please explain how you felt during this ritual when it happened? Did you ever do that part again? Did you know it was coming?

Subject: Re: Washings and annointings
Date: Jun 01 21:28
Author: KansasKitty
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Weird is the only word that describes how I felt. I didn't know it was going to happen and I never did that part again.

Subject: Re: Washings and annointings
Date: Jun 02 18:26
Author: Sprigblossom
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Did you ever talk about it with your spouse?

Subject: What the f........?!?!?!?!
Date: Jun 02 18:59
Author: marty_klyman
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Some thoughts I had:

"What's the sheet're not serious!"

"What's with the little drinking fountain?"

"That's not the Spirit is it?"

"Wait, is he looking at my...holy shit, I think he's looking."

"Could you mumble that one more time, please, I didn't get a word."

"I hope that doesn't clog my pores."

"Whoa, no need to annoint anything else, thanks."

"What the HELL was THAT all about?!?!?!?!"

Subject: Re: What the f........?!?!?!?!
Date: Jun 02 19:12
Author: Tyler

Awesome - LOLOLOL Marty summed up the reaction of every red blooded man and woman who went through the temple and felt violated.

Damn, That was funny, Guess the booklet and audiocassetes that I bought from a late night informercial to improve my witty writing skills went for naught!

Subject: Memories of the washing & anointing ceremony
Date: Jun 02 19:38
Author: SusieQ#1

You enter a small stall, and sit on a cold marble type slab. The female temple worker doing the washing and anointing stands behind and to the side of you and starts with the top of the head, the forehead, the eyes, nose, mouth, breast, bowels, legs..etc. She has a little spigot she gets water from that drips slowly. The oil is done in the same fashion. Nothing untoward, of a sexual nature is done, but it is just very, very ethically and culturally out of order. How anyone can equate that to something spiritual just amazes me.

The washings and anointing are only required the first time you go to the temple now as these ordinances are done in blocks by people who do only those kinds of sessions.

If you go through as proxy for any dead relative, you must do the washing and anointing along with it. Years ago, we did the washing and anointing and the endowment session for the same name all in one evening. Sometimes doing two sessions doing it all for two deceased people.

The part that is so unethical and disrespectful is that no one tells the new initiate anything ahead of time.
You go and do what dozens of other people are doing. It is very difficult to leave once you get in the temple. It can be done, I know, I have watched people do it, but it is rare. This is group pressure at it's most intense.
Under no other circumstances would anyone even dare to consider that you would strip naked, put on a shield as it is called carrying your underwear and go into a small room alone with someone you do not know while they whisper the memorized dialogue, usually with a breath mint in their mouth then help dress you.

Perhaps there has been some change in the recent years to honestly and completely, through full disclosure, prepare the new temple attendee, however, I doubt it. The Mormon church has no policy for full disclosure or they would disclose every single thing about their history, their finances and their temple ceremonies to anyone who investigates or/or joins.
And, don't' even start with me on that "milk before meat" nonsense. We are all adults with all our teeth.

Originally, I am told, this was a complete washing and anointing, similar to some other religious customs.

Memories of washing and anointing rituals.
I can still see the rows of tiny lockers where we completely undressed and donned the sheet tunic, carrying our long garments into the little cubical where the old lady awaited me.
I can still see, hear and feel and smell those old women. The were like a grandma dressed in a white uniform, false teeth clacking, chewing a breath mint I could feel their breath and smell the aroma of the mints as she whispered in my ear reaching under the sheet with those warm, sweaty, damp hands sliding over here and over there, anointing me first with dabs of water from head to toe, then going the same thing with oil. I can still hear the water trickling from the tiny spigot that she put her hands into to begin the anointing. I can still hear the sing-song monotone of her memorized washing and anointing dialogue.

Sometimes, I had to stifle a giggle as the old woman inadvertently tickled me and I squirmed. I tried to sit really, really still so she would not slide her wet, warm oily hand anywhere it ought not to be as her face was averted outside the sheet and she could not see where she had her hands. Sometimes she slid her hands within inches of my breasts and pubic hair as she slid her hands around in her predetermined and well practiced path. I always hated it and I would shudder when she slide those warm, oily hands down my legs onto my feet. When she finished she would help me step into my underwear, while still wearing that sheet tunic, adjusting it properly and sending me out into the dressing area where dozens of other women were coming and going. I always had the feeling she wanted to kiss me, she was so pleased. I still shudder.

How does the Mormon church get old Mormon men and women to believe it is a sacred ordinance to touch your naked body under a sheet with little dabs of water then oil while you sit in a small cubicle?

What we will do in the name of pleasing the Mormon God!

Subject: Temple stuff
Date: Jun 02 20:29
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

Whew! Still feels like a no-no to talk about it. When I went thru 3 yrs ago, there was still no "full disclosure" at that time SusieQ. I attended a couple of sessions of a temple prep class but wasn't told and never became aware of what to really expect. Just a lot of talk about how wonderful and spiritual it would be and how you needed to be so worthy to go.

I felt equally curious and apprehensive about going to the temple and hopeful of having a meaningful spiritual experience. I was deeply committed to the covenants I had made, had not enjoyed a good first year in the church because of several bad experiences, and somehow felt that if I could make it thru to the temple, that would be so incredibly spiritual that it would wipe out all the bad stuff. I also accepted that it was "sacred". So that's the mindset I went in with.

My BAC friends were horrified at the thought that I would go to a Mormon temple. A Mormon missionary I liked and respected told me, "There is nothing in the ceremony that a Christian would have a problem with." Another missionary I knew well came close to telling me about it because he hadn't been too impressed with it himself and I thought he genuinely cared about me and didn't want me to freak out, but his training won out and he didn't tell me any details. He did show me a picture of temple clothing ahead of time, his reasoning being that it was out there in the public domain so it was OK for him to show it to me. Other veiled remarks he made (no pun intended) started making me really nervous. I had no idea about the washing and anointing - he tried to tell me but I didn't understand as he wasn't very specific. I just asked him to please tell me if there was any nakedness involved (I couldn't believe there could actually be) and he said there was not.

Before going to the temple, I was instructed not to even open my pkg of garments, just handed it over unopened and a woman spirited it away from the locker area (pun intended that time, ha ha.) SusieQ was a lot more observant than me. I didn't notice any fountain or any other details. The only difference I can see from my experience and what SusieQ described is that the anointer lady did NOT touch me, she just made the gestures, maybe a very light touch not anywhere private, with the water, and I think the oil was just on my head. Certainly, anybody's hands sliding down my legs would have completely creeped me out.

Also, doctrinely, I wondered about the whispered, "Your sins are forgiven." I thought that was the case anyway, every time you pray to request that. (In theory, if you believe in any of that...)

I agree with SQ that it is unethical not to let people know ahead of time what it's about. Making "covenants" on the spot without prior knowledge is too much like coercion to me. I'm still asking myself WHY did I do this? I think it's different for BICs than for converts - like, we should be more wary because we weren't brought up with it. And with the extreme socialization of BICs to be missionaries, I would think the temple would be accepted as just part of that process, like there isn't much choice really about the 2 yrs, so there's no choice about the temple for BICs.

In the ceremony, I did wonder what it would take for someone to get up and leave and I was telling myself at what point I would have no choice but to do that. For me, it would have been if I thought Jesus was being disrespected. But that's a topic for another thread.

For a long time after, I wondered when the "enlightenment" would come and thought I must be pretty dense because I didn't get anything out of going to the temple. Of course, that was my fault for not being worthy enough, or something like that.

Certainly, my Christian friends are still saying to me, "You should have known better." And that's part of why it's easy some days to feel STUPID for getting involved in something like this. Perhaps needless to say, going to the temple didn't make anything about the Mormon church better for me.

Subject: Re: Temple stuff
Date: Jun 02 20:40
Author: birdie2
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I remember loving how ultra strange and weird the whole thing was, like some kind of a Rocky Horror Picture show in white, with bodies swirling here and there, sashes swaying, hands up, people praying, sort of chanting -- all the repetition. (joking here).

I could honestly say, I did feel a glow when walking in to the CK room -- there was a weird buzz in there from all the other people who were "convinced" IMHO they were so special to have made it there (myself included) that we all were kind of buzzed. It was a mild buzz, though.

Subject: need to get yourself over to the...
Date: Jun 03 11:12
Author: beaglie
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"Fanatical Christian" thread you started and tell us what your definition of a "fanatical Christian" is.


Subject: Re: Temple stuff
Date: Jun 03 02:44
Author: KansasKitty
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I am a BIC, and I can tell you that while I initally did accept the temple as part of the process, I too should have been more wary. BICs aren't told any more about the "sacred temple ceremonies" than converts. Even if a person attends all of the temple prep classes, a person is not in the slightest prepared for what they will encounter. The only reason I stayed past the washings and anointings is that it couldn't get any weirder than that!!!

Nightingale wrote:
I think it's different for BICs than for converts - like, we should be more wary because we weren't brought up with it. And with the extreme socialization of BICs to be missionaries, I would think the temple would be accepted as just part of that process,

Subject: More about temple stuff
Date: Jun 03 03:26
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

Kitty: What choice do you have though as a BIC - if you want to (or feel obligated to) go on a mission and/or get married in the temple? I guess I was thinking that it would seem more natural to a BIC to go to the temple than for a convert, who had a different upbringing, perhaps different church experiences and surely a wider perspective than BICs? I know I'm on dangerous ground trying to interpret what a BIC experience is like - I'm just trying to understand though. I think AT LEAST you guys know about and/or have seen the G's. That part did scare me ahead of time. And it didn't even seem that weird to me at first. I accepted the explanation that it was just like lots of religious folks who wear religious clothing, except theirs is on the outside and ours is covered up because we are modest and don't have to make a big deal about how religious we are. (Actually, thank goodness it is covered up.)

The missionary who was trying to prepare me without unloosing the wrath of God by actually divulging any of the "sacredness" told me that after he went thru just before his mission, his first thought was "What the **** just happened here?" That should have been my first clue that maybe I should be cautious. No, I just went full steam ahead into my "spiritual" experience. And, actually, it wasn't the weirdest thing that happened to me in the Mormon church. Yikes.

Subject: Re: Temple stuff
Date: Jun 03 18:47
Author: Aerojeen
Mail Address:

Wow, this is seriously the very first time I've seen my exact thoughts written down about the whole washing/annointing thing. I live in Happy Valley (Utah County/Provo/land of the sheep, whatever), and around here an exmo is not even considered a level up the chain from Beelzebub himself. (Don't worry about me, I just smile and go about my day as they plan the next big Relief Society craft event.)

So good to hear that I'm not alone in my nearly daily and intense wonderment of what the hell I did all that for.

Smiles to all of you who seem to share the "why's" and "why not's" of my far past.

Subject: Am I thankful I never got that far!
Date: Jun 03 15:23
Author: Dawn

I initially left the church around 18. To think that is all I ever wanted as a young woman. Am I ever thankful that I didn't get a sealing. The baptisms by proxy were weird enough!

Subject: I was blindsided . . .
Date: Jun 03 11:19
Author: Schweizerkind

by the washing and anointing bit. I found it quite weird, and I was definitely uncomfortable. I didn't like an old fart touching me anywhere, even if he didn't actually touch my privates. He still mentioned them, and that was enough to gross me out.

I only attended less than a half dozen sessions in my life. I think I endured the initiatory on all occasions. I don't recall that I had a choice.

Uggh-glad-I'm-not-doing-that-ever-again-ly yours,


Subject: I can't believe I went through with it
Date: Jun 03 11:26
Author: Makurosu

I went through the temple my first time just before I left on my mission. I didn't want to go on a mission, and I felt like I didn't have any choice. Looking back, a good thing I could have done was to allow myself to be naturally horrified by the temple experience. The washings & annointings, the endowment penalties, etc. Then use that excuse to get out. I don't know what I was thinking that I kept my mouth shut about all that. I must have been trusting people in the Church a lot.

Subject: Re: Washings and annointings
Date: Jun 03 15:50
Author: Pretend TBM

Springblossom wrote:
> Can those of you who went through the temple please explain how you felt during this ritual when it happened? >Did you ever do that part again? Did you know it was coming?

My first visit to the International House of Handshakes? That was over 10 years ago. The old school death penalty and five points of fellowship stuff was still part of the endowment ceremony. I am do glad I went when I did. Now no newbie TBM can ever tell me that stuff wasn't part of the endowment!

I sort of knew what to expect. A RM friend had me read The Book of Moses before. It is the story (sort of) of Genesis. So I knew about that part. I knew about the garments and washing and annointing. I did not know what the "covenants" were. They give you the option to leave *before* they tell you what the covenants are. After that you are supposed to stay put. In effect, by staying put you are agreeing to whatever they ask you to beforehand! Also I was a TBM and had my best buddy RM there to guide me. A bit of peer pressure helped my testimony along.

I was such a TBM at the time. I knew that what I was doing was a bit strange, but I just moved forward! I always liked being in the Celestial room. But that feeling has faded a bit. :-)

The last time I went, I tried not to laugh. It is so silly to see those people dressed that way, going through all the up and down motions, etc.

I did washings and anointings once after my own. I just went along with it. Yea, it is odd. So were all the changes to the endowment ceremony. But I am in The Church of Shut Up and Do What You Are Told, so I went along with a lot of odd behavior for years. :-S

Subject: Internation House of Handshakes! Love it! LOL
Date: Jun 04 16:03
Author: Xman
Mail Address:

The annointing ceremony wasn't as weird for me as the ritual of going through the veil. That was too weird man! The way you touch body parts and grasp hands and make secrets oaths through a curtain. FREAKY!

Subject: Re: Washings and annointings
Date: Jun 04 14:56
Author: ctqtbbw

Geez, I guess I was a TBM Convert. I was nervous (sp?) at being touched...tingley too (my husband has me convinced I'm BI..that's another story). But at the time I just kept thinking that the promises blessing that where told to me during the ceremony "felt ancient". So I took it as it meant that it was true.

I always enjoyed doing washings and annoints more than the endownment session. At least I didn't fall asleep. Where else can a 30 year old obese virgin get to be touched on her naked parts and told that she was going to be a priestest (sp?).

Subject: Re: Washings and annointings
Date: Jun 04 16:11
Author: Tyler

LOL - You got a good thing going on there! Too bad the folks doing the touching aren't hard bodied, beefy ex-football players.

There was a mormon offshoot cult in Ogden, Utah some years back where all the people were sleeping with each other in the service of the Lard. Now why oh why couldn't I have been born into a kinky cult like that?

Subject: Pretty much nekked and women touching me. n/t
Date: Jun 04 15:02
Author: JustStopingBy
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Subject: When I went thru it 17 years ago...
Date: Jun 04 18:08
Author: tri girl
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I actually wasn't too freaked out about the washing and annointing- it was actually the only time of a very long day that someone paid attention to me. I did the endowment/marriage/reception all in one day and my wedding was one of 50 going on that day. I had the mistaken idea that the whole endowment would be personal like baptism. I thought I would be making my covenants face to face with a high priest- not in a huge room of 200 where I bowed my head and said yes to apparently nobody. I also thought my temple name was unique and special. It has only been after leaving the church that the washing and annointing gives me the creeps. Wearing garments, doing the death gestures, the 5 points of fellowship and looking into the mirrors of eternity dressed in all those weird clothes freaked me out a lot more that first day.

Subject: I thought W&A's was weird, but then all the throat slitting started
Date: Jun 04 18:42
Author: Anon this time
Mail Address:

My initial visit to the temple was completely overwhelmed by the endowment itself. I don't remember much about the washings & annointings. All the violent gestures confused (and scared) me a great deal. It was so different than any other experience I had had with the church. I wondered if this was the same church I grew up in. It was very disorienting.

Never really had much interest in going back to do washings & annointings, although I did respond to an "assignment" every now and them. Did go back and do endowments many times, usually with family or ward outings. I guess I eventually became "past feeling" about the violent gestures. After the violent gestures were removed in 1990, I would still picture them at the corresponding point in the endowment ceremony. They were never really removed as far as my experience goes. They were still there in my mind and of course, I had still covenanted with my life not to reveal...

Date: Jun 05 00:05

Wow, I am glad I never made it through also. Even if I did, I have a feeling that would have been IT for me. I would've been 'outta there!!!