Subject: Did the temple endowment minister offend anyone?
Date: Aug 19 01:02 2003
Author: Deconstructor

As most Mormons know, the temple endowment is essential for salvation and was written by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young through "direct divine revelation." Even more pure in divine form than the Book of Mormon, the temple ceremonies are untainted sources of true Mormon Doctrine.

For well over one hundred years, the temple endowment included a Protestant minister character (wearing a collar) that was in the employ of Satan.

For those of us who took our temple covenants prior to 1990 when the minister character disappeared from the endowment, how many of us were shocked or offended by the portrayal of the minister or his removal from the newer version? [The Protestant minister was removed in the new 1990 version of the Mormon Endowment ceremony that take place in Mormon Temples.  His role in the endowment is below - word by word as it was in the pre-1990 temple ceremony]

If the endowment teaches important truths, then why were these plain and precious teachings removed?


ADAM: I am looking for messengers.

LUCIFER: Oh, you want someone to preach to you. You want religion, do you? I will have preachers here presently.

(Lucifer turns his head as a PROTESTANT minister approaches.)

LUCIFER: Good Morning sir!

PROTESTANT MINISTER: Good morning!

(The preacher turns and looks into the camera.)

PROTESTANT MINISTER: A fine congregation!

LUCIFER: Yes, they are a very good people. They are concerned about religion. Are you a preacher?

PROTESTANT MINISTER: I am.

LUCIFER: Have you been to college and received training for the ministry?

PROTESTANT MINISTER: Certainly! A man cannot preach unless has been trained for the ministry.

LUCIFER: Do you preach the orthodox religion?

PROTESTANT MINISTER: Yes, that is what I preach.

LUCIFER: If you will preach your orthodox religion to these people, and convert them, I will pay you well.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: I will do my best.

(Lucifer guides the preacher to Adam and Eve, who stand nearby.)

LUCIFER: Here is a man who desires religion. He is very much exercised, and seems to be sincere.

(As Lucifer presents the preacher to Adam and Eve he steps back and observes the ensuing conversation. The preacher is made to sound sincere, although misguided and credulous. Adam appears humble, faithful and immovable in his determination to serve God. He is not swayed by the preacher, and is astounded by the doctrines espoused by the preacher.)

PROTESTANT MINISTER: I understand that you are inquiring after religion.

ADAM: I was calling upon Father.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: I am glad to know that you were calling upon Father. Do you believe in a God who is without body, parts, or passions; who sits on the top of a topless throne; whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere; 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 for any act of theirs, but by His good pleasure. Do you believe in such a great Being?

ADAM: I do not. I cannot comprehend such a being.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: That is the beauty of it. Perhaps you do not believe in a devil, and in that great hell, the bottomless pit, where there is a lake of fire and brimstone into which the wicked are cast, and where they are continually burning, but none never consumed?

ADAM: I do not believe in any such place.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: My dear friend, I am sorry for you.

LUCIFER: I am sorry, very very sorry! What is it you want?

ADAM: I am looking for messengers from my Father.

(The scene changes to a view of the Celestial Kingdom, where Elohim reigns from a white throne affront tall white pillars. He is radiant as before, and his voice resonates as he speaks with Jehovah, who stands before him. He commands Jehovah to send down Peter, James and John)

PETER: Good morning.

LUCIFER: Good morning gentlemen.

PETER: What are you doing here?

LUCIFER: Teaching religion.

PETER: What religion do you teach?

LUCIFER: We teach a religion made of the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture.

PETER: How is your religion received by this community?

LUCIFER: Very well--excepting this man. He does not seem to believe anything we preach.

(Peter, James and John approach Adam and Eve.)

PETER: Good morning. What do you think of the preaching of these gentlemen?

ADAM: I cannot comprehend it.

PETER: Can you give us some idea concerning it?

ADAM: They preach of a God who is without body, parts, or passions; who is so large that he fills the universe, and yet is so small that he can dwell in your heart; and of a hell, without a bottom, where the wicked are continually burned but are never consumed. To me, it is a mass of confusion.

PETER: We do not wonder that you cannot comprehend such doctrine. Have you any tokens or signs?

(Lucifer steps up to the side of Peter and interjects his query.)

LUCIFER: Do you have any money?

PETER: We have sufficient for our needs.

LUCIFER: You can buy anything in this world for money.

PETER: Do you sell your tokens or signs for money? You have them, I presume.

ADAM: I have them, but I do not sell them for money. I hold them sacred. I am looking for the further light and knowledge Father promised to send me.

PETER: That is right. We commend you for your integrity. Good day. We shall probably visit you again.

(Peter, James and John exit; Lucifer stares into the camera.)

LUCIFER: Now is the great day of my power. I reign from the rivers to the ends of the earth. There is none who dares to molest, or make me afraid.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: Shall we ever have any apostles or prophets?

LUCIFER: No. However, there may be some who will profess revelation or apostleship. If so, just test them by asking that they perform a great miracle, such as cutting off an arm or some other member of the body, and restoring it, so that the people may know that they have come with power.

(The scene changes to the Celestial Kingdom. Peter, James, and John approach Jehovah with their report.)

PETER: Jehovah, we have visited the man Adam in the Telestial World as thou didst command us. We found Satan there, with his ministers, preaching all manner of false doctrine, and striving to lead the posterity of Adam astray. But Adam has been true and faithful to the token and sign given him in the Garden of Eden, and is waiting for the further light and knowledge you promised to send him. This is our report.

.....

(The scene changes again to the lone and dreary world. The three Apostles boldly approach Lucifer.)

PETER: I am Peter.

JAMES: I am James.

JOHN: I am John.

LUCIFER: Yes, I thought I knew you. (He turns to his Preacher.) Do you know who these men are? They claim to be apostles. Try them!

(The Preacher approaches Peter.)

PROTESTANT MINISTER: Do you profess to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ?


PETER: We do.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: This man told me that we should never have any revelation or apostles, but if any should come professing to be apostles, I was to ask them to cut off an arm or some other member of the body and the restore it, so that the people might know that they came with power.

PETER: We do not satisfy men's curiosity in that manner. It is a wicked and an adulterous generation that seeks for a sign. Do you know who that man is? He is Satan!

PROTESTANT MINISTER: What? The Devil?

PETER: That is one of his names.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: He is quite a different person from what he told me the devil is. He said the devil has claws like a bear's on his hands, horns on his head, and a cloven foot, and that when he speaks he has the roar of a lion!

PETER: He has said this to deceive you, and I would advise you to get out of his employ.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: Your advise is good; but, if I leave his employ, what will become of me?

PETER: We will preach the gospel unto you, with the rest of Adam's posterity.

PROTESTANT MINISTER: That is good. (He turns to Lucifer) I would like to have a settlement. I want you to pay me for preaching.

LUCIFER: I am ready to keep my word and fulfill my part of the agreement. I promised to pay you if you would convert these people, and they have nearly converted you! You can get out of my kingdom, I want no such men in it! (As the preacher turns sadly and leaves Lucifer approaches Peter) Now, what are you going to do?

PETER: We will dismiss you without further argument.

Subject: I found it fairly disrespectful...
Date: Aug 19 01:12
Author: Ron G.

...but it did seem to fit in with the tone of the rest of the endowment. I frankly didn't know what I was supposed to think or feel after going through the temple the first few times.

In later years I was desperate to "get it," because from all of the hype surrounding the Mormon temples and their ceremonies I truly thought that there was something to be "gotten."

I was completely unaware of the changes made to the endowment while we were living overseas, and after not having attended for a few years I wondered why the changes had been made.

I guess I wasn't the only one that was puzzled and offended...

My 2

Ron

Subject: He came across as an absolute dunce.
Date: Aug 19 01:20
Author: steve benson

I remember thinking as I watched the film at the time, "Why would anyone want to follow this hopelessly befuddled guy?"

But, with a little bit of hindsight, why would anyone want to follow the Mormon prophet for the same reason?

Subject: And the 1931 version had this delightful exchange. . .
Date: Aug 19 01:22
Author: catholicgirl

Lucifer--(Defiantly)--"And I will take of the treasures of that earth, silver and gold, and buy up armies and navies, popes and princes, and will reign with blood and terror."

Elohim--"Begone."

Lucifer, retreating

Subject: That line seems to come straight from Freemasonry, and
Date: Aug 19 03:22
Author: Perry Noid

I wouldn't be surprised if it's an echo of the incident where King Philip IV and the Pope conspired to condemn the Templars (forerunners of the Freemasons) as heretics so that Philip could confiscate their wealth.

Subject: You wanna know something really freaky...
Date: Aug 19 01:27
Author: brandnewtatoo

The actor that portrayed the minister [Spencer Palmer] was later called to be a temple president and performed the marriage ceremony for me and my wife.

In real life he was a comparative religion professor at YBU. Pretty good teacher too, I liked his class.


Subject: That was one of the few elements of the endowment ritual that
Date: Aug 19 03:16
Author: Perry Noid

seemed to make sense to me. The bloody oaths, the goofy garments and robes, the elbow-on-the-next-guy's-shoulder "true order of prayer", etc., all seemed cultish and creepy.

But I thought I knew what the minister character was all about. It was supposed to teach us to beware of people who were serving two masters, i.e., pretending to serve God, but really serving money (or the people who paid them money). As a 19-year old kid going through the first time, I thought this was vindication of the Mormon system of using unpaid clergy (of course I wasn't aware of the different set of problems created by having an amateur clergy exercising authority over the lives of others).

Regardless of how I viewed the symbolism of the protestant minister in the endowment ritual, I cannot interpret the deletion of that symbolic character from the ritual as anything other than a tampering with and elimination of an element that previous generations of Mormons were taught to regard as revealed scripture. It would be like removing the character Korihor from the Book of Mormon.

The Brethren have shown that they regard anything as being dispensable, expendable and alterable among the body of supposedly "eternal truths" that have been revealed to past generations of Mormons, if by dispensing, eliminating or altering such things the Church as an institution can avoid unpleasant controversy and negative public attention. This tells me that the Brethren really don't regard Mormonism as a divine work, so much as they see it as a really useful institution (to them at least) that is worth preserving and protecting because they happen to be in charge of it.

Subject: Re: Did the temple endowment minister offend anyone?
Date: Aug 19 04:14
Author: mofembot
Mail Address:

The preacher's response, "That is the beauty of it," always cracked me up. I missed it when the ceremony got changed.

Subject: Didn't the MORG secretly authorize a consumer satisfaction survey...
Date: Aug 19 09:46
Author: Philastus

...regarding the temple and other things?

I know I've heard that and think I remember seeing it. I'm sure somebody on the boards here knows.

My recollection is that they had a survey and pruned the temple ceremony to try to make it less offensive based, in part, on the survey results.

Subject: Yes, a survey was sent to. . .
Date: Aug 19 10:31
Author: catholicgirl
Mail Address:

. . .something along the order of 3,000 members of the LDS Church in the United States and Canada, I believe, a few months prior to the changes in 1990.

I have seen that survey online, and the questions, but seem no longer to be able to locate it.

It essentially asked if members "had difficulty" was various portions of the temple ceremony.

I think Buerger discusses this in his book, "The Mysteries of Godliness," if I'm not mistaken.

Subject: I always felt like I was playing "dress-ups" in the temple ..like it was a play .
Date: Aug 19 12:10
Author: SusieQ#1

My mind took in the whole temple ritual as just some old fashioned play with some obscure meanings and had no idea, at the time, that much of it had it's origin in Masonry.

I saw the whole thing as "figurative" and just a story that was never to be taken literally.

Then with my background in drama and music, I memorized all of the dialogue quite easily.

I remember a change in about 1984 and remarked about it to another temple attendee and they claimed nothing changed.

Then there were the ones in 1990 which, when I remarked about them, were of course not changes, nothing changed, the temple ceremony was still the same! Again. I was dumbfounded.

That was kind of what Mormonism was like to me all of my life. Show a Mormon a fact and they act like it did not exist.

I just figured I had a better memory, or the TBM thought if they admitted there was a change, they would be doing something wrong!

I notice that Mormons would lie very easily about anything to do with their religion.

At the time, I thought it was just a quirk of some of the more "letter-of-the-law" type Mormons. At one time, Bruce Longo was our Home Teacher, so...well, you catch my drift! :-)

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