|Subject:||Mormons can perform temple ceremonies on unconsenting Jews, but Gawd forbid you show it on TV...|
|Date:||Mar 09, 2009|
|This is another case of bad religious boundaries.
Mormons *insist* that they are asking for "respect" for their religion. The same kind of respect you would show any other religion (Jews are mentioned specifically in the letter the church recently released regarding the upcoming BIG LOVE episode).
Where is the Mormon church's respect for the Jewish faith? Continuing to perform temple rites for Holocaust Jews, despite repeated public objections by the Jewish community doesn't seem like "respect" to me.
I think HBO should "respect" Mormon religious rites in the same fashion. Express a little token reconciliation, and then do as it pleases.
If a Mormon can perform temple ceremonies on behalf of some Jew's deceased relation, then I think that Jewish person should get to see that ceremony depicted on TV.
If "marriage" is so sacred that Mormons feel the need to meddle in CA state legislation, then maybe Californians should get to see a depiction of what Mormons consider a "sacred" marriage.
If the temple is really as wonderful as Mormons like to say it is, maybe this will be a selling point. Maybe the "Spirit" will touch hundreds and thousands of viewers, and the missionaries will get flooded with calls about the sacred and spiritual ceremony they viewed on TV.
Of course, I tend to doubt that. I think, deep down, Mormons know the temple rites are weird, and they are just embarrassed to have the world looking in.
|Date:||Mar 09 15:56|
|Your post is great; you'd get an A+ in my writing class. You brought up all the main points/objections and expressed yourself fully and concisely. It's so well written it should be forwarded around to everyone; if TSSC tries to censure the episode, we'll just read your post at them. Well done!|
|Subject:||Perhaps people will include these facts when they email HBO. :)|
|Date:||Mar 09 16:33|
|I certainly give my permission for any "cut-n-paste" people wish to do. ;)|
|Subject:||Oh Joseph, look how far your ceremony has come!|
|Date:||Mar 15 14:09|
|Reading your post made me think of something.
Just look how far Joseph's silly creation has come!
Smith originally cooked up the endowment ceremony in order to keep his womanizing a secret. He introduced the endowment to a handful of his closest male followers on Wednesday, May 4th, 1842. The endowment put these men under death oaths of secrecy, which included his plural marriage doctrine.
Could Smith have ever imagined that someday his baker-hat, green-apron garb would be viewed by millions of non-Mormons across the nation? It's taken over a 160 years, but finally Smith's uttermost secret creations are seeing the light of day.
|Subject:||Right on!! And it they're planning to do those rituals on me, DH & our kids|
|Date:||Mar 15 14:11|
|when we die, WE have a right to see these weird rites
in full detail and in brilliant color on TV.
Mormons want it both ways and I say a big No to that!
|Subject:||Since we're all discussing the temple ceremony - here are some helpful links|
|Date:||Mar 12 20:28|
|I thought I'd post some helpful links:
Audio of ceremony - http://www.lds-temple.org/index.php?page=audio
Why the ceremony has changed -
(Trying to be less creepy, I guess.)
Mormons and Masons
Temple recommend questions:
How to get out - resigning your membership
|Subject:||Embarrassment is the real reason TBMs are upset over Big Love "temple" episode.|
|Date:||Mar 15 00:52|
|I believe most TBMs [Mormons] feel silly about the temple deep
down inside. The outfits are silly. The handshakes are silly.
The standing, sitting, and etc is all just silly.
TBMs are constantly beat over the head that attending the temple is the highest pinnacle of "making it" in this life. When they actually go, it is a little unsettling and silly, yet no one dares say otherwise since the temple is the ultimate goal TBMs are told to acheive. They feel goofy about it, but they can at least keep it secret.
Now they have to justify all this nonsense to other people. Imagine being the only Mormon guy in the office. Everyone knows you as the nice guy who doesn't drink and is into his family. Everyone looks at you as the nice clean cut Mormon guy. No big deal. Now what happens when you show up to work one day and a co-worker asks you if you really wore a bakers hat and a green apron and did secret handshakes to and learned passwords to get to heaven. How do you explain this to coworkers without looking stupid?
Now you have gone from being that nice guy who doesn't drink coffee to the weird cult guy in the office who wears funny costumes and has secret passwords that God only makes available to worthy Mormons.
Deep down TBMs are embarrassed by the temple it has nothing to do with sacredness. Deep down they know its silly and if Temple stuff is shown on a TV show it opens up a huge can of worms as now the silliness is out in the open and they have to justify it.
I truly feel sorry for the embarrassment many TBMs will undoubtably experience on Monday.
|Subject:||Re: Embarrassment is the real reason TBMs are upset over Big Love "temple" episode.|
|Date:||Mar 15 01:01|
|You're spot on. The temple wackiness is what ultimately distanced me from the church. I don't think I ever really bowed my head and said "Yes." From the very first time I went through, just before leaving on a mission, I always bowed my head and said "What a crock." I actually stopped paying tithing to prove myself "unworthy" of a TR. I'd probably still be paying tithing if it weren't for the embarrassing foolishness of the temple ceremonies.|
|Subject:||That has crossed my mind many times too.|
|Date:||Mar 15 01:10|
|I live in a city with a fairly low percentage of Mormons. However I work in somewhat close proximity to a few TBMs who are rather smug about their beliefs and are solidly in the self-righteous category. It will be interesting to see how they respond to those who realize that these grinning, condescending, know-it-alls actually go to our nearby temple and play dress up while practicing cult handshakes and passwords.|
|Subject:||Anyone noticed what seems to be a quieting down of frantic reaction by devotedly defensive Mormons--|
|Date:||Mar 15 01:18|
|. . . less than 24 hours prior to scheduled lift-off
of the nefarious "Big Love" episode?
Maybe they're finally learning their lesson and shutting up, so as to not draw any more attention to the secret temple stuff that actually, truth be told, probably embarrasses the hell out of them.
|Subject:||Re: Embarrassment is the real reason TBMs are upset over Big Love "temple" episode.|
|Date:||Mar 15 01:28|
|This is all so true. The quiet, clean cut Mormon guy in the office will now be looked at in a new way. They will think...so he really went in to a temple and did all that weird stuff and dressed up like that? Sorry, but they will never be thought of in the same way. But heh, they chose to stay in the cult even after the experience. So the secret is out...now deal with it.|
|Subject:||The rituals are anti-Christ|
|Date:||Mar 15 12:59|
|They are all about swearing allegiance to an entity,
the morg [mormon church], not promising devotion to Jesus. The Atonement
that is supposed to be the most important aspect of anyone who claims to
follow Jesus Christ has zero importance in the mormon temple rituals. Loving
one's fellow man, supposedly the key commandment from Jesus' visit on earth,
has absolutely no mention in the rituals.
Bow your head and say Yes... that's Satan's way, not Jesus' way.
The rituals are absolutely anti-Christ. There is no Christ in the temple rituals, just like there is no love of Christ in the mormon church-cult.
At first I thought it was just embarrassment driving the mormon terror over having their bizarre rituals revealed to the world. Now I'm convinced they mormons are terrified that the more the world knows about the inner workings of mormonism, the more the world will realize that mormonism itself is anti-Christ.
|Subject:||Re: Embarrassment is the real reason TBMs are upset over Big Love "temple" episode.|
|Date:||Mar 15 11:10|
|Secrets and shame go hand in hand.|
|Subject:||Mormons think that God runs his Universe like an Elk's Lodge.|
|Date:||Mar 15 13:16|
|Author:||A Guys View|
|To get in you have to know someone (a Bishop) and be
"approved" for entry. After this special mortal Bishop interviews you and
feels good, you are allowed to go in to a super secret place (Temple) and
get highly secret information in the form of passwords and handshakes that
God will someday ask you to repeat if you are to get into heaven.
WITHOUT this secret information and continued obedience (including 10% of your earnings) God will break up your family in the afterlife! You will become a servant (at best) to others who are "worthy" and your wife and kids will be "given to another" for eternity. Furthermore, that "other Guy" will probably be a polygamist in the afterlife who already has a harem of wives for eternity!
The more the public knows about Mormonism the less they like! No wonder the church is worried.
|Subject:||Re: Mormons think .... a Post Script from Brigham Young himself|
|Date:||Mar 15 13:28|
|Author:||More A Guys View|
|Brigham Young in 1860:
"I shall have wives and children by the million, and glory, and riches and power and dominion, and kingdom after kingdom, and reign triumphantly."
I forgot to mention one small thing in the previous post; you will also BECOME A GOD with your OWN UNIVERSE in this Mormon afterlife. Oh yes, one other thing, you get ETERNAL SEX with all those "Wives by the million" which explains all the children Brigham Young bragged about in 1860!
(It just gets worse)
|Subject:||It's kind of telling that LDS, Inc. is mostly silent on this.|
|Date:||Mar 13 14:30|
|They've also been slowing chipping away at changing
the ceremony, because I think they realize it's a liability even among the
members. Now it's a going to be huge ongoing liability as 10s of thousands
of people will rent or buy the DVD and watch it multiple times. "September
Dawn" was kiddie stuff compared to how many eyes will see this in the long
They should be glad it's not the earlier version of the Endowment that has the five preachers from specifically named sects - there would have been no one in Christian American left to offend after that.
|Subject:||Re: It's kind of telling that LDS, Inc. is mostly silent on this.|
|Date:||Mar 14 01:32|
|ARE YOU SERIOUS??? i THOUGHT THERE WAS ONLY ONE PREACHER. But as a nevermo what do I know. And you said they named the denominations??? Wow...news to me. I would love the old temple ceremony to be the one shown on Sun. and have that out there for all to hear. Creepy!!!|
|Subject:||Here's one description of the early Endowment|
|Date:||Mar 14 02:44|
|This is in a book by Ann Eliza Young who was a
polygamous wife of Brigham Young who later escaped Utah and Mormonism and
wrote about her experience.
Go to the beginning of the chapter for a full description of her endowment experience.
I am not sure if the whole text of this ceremony can be found somewhere on line. I searched some but didn't spend a lot of time.
|Subject:||Wife No 19 -- full version|
|Date:||Mar 14 04:06|
|Author:||Dana in Australia|
|After following the link above and getting frustrated,
I looked for a full version of "Wife No.19" and I found it at:
|Subject:||Oh man, "here the words of my mouth"|
|Date:||Mar 14 05:30|
First time 25 years old going in the temple, it blew me away, I was just flipping nervous, and I had my father-in-law and mother-in-law, escort me threw the SL Temple.
This whole thing now is made up, and/or from "freemason" good old BY and his staff just threw in some crap to make it look like it was from GOD. Yeehaw!!! BTW I wanted to have sex somewhere in the temple with my wife, back then every time we went though, but just could not found the right spot, lol
|Subject:||I don't know which is more embarrassing|
|Date:||Mar 13 14:30|
|that I did the temple stuff or that I actually thought it was a sacred ritual and went willingly. Despite being creeped out by my first visit, I still went back. But I stopped going 4 years before I found out the truth about the church, out of sheer boredom.|
|Date:||Mar 13 14:43|
|I "took out my endowment" (I hate that term) under false pretenses and under pressure from peers. I knew then and there that Mormonism was a cult. The was in the 1980s. So I have no problem telling people about it or admitting that I took part in the silly ritual.|
|Subject:||"Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."|
|Date:||Mar 13 15:10|
|I was never comfortable with that part of the pre-1990
ceremony. Of course I believed that someday I would have a better
understanding of why we made death oaths (even though Jesus preaches against
such oaths - Matthew 5:33-37).
I now have a perfect understanding: Joseph wanted to keep secret (not sacred) his adultery.
|Subject:||It sure embarrasses me that I was such a fool!!!|
|Date:||Mar 13 15:21|
|I fell for it. I remember thinking that this wasn't
what I had expected, it had been built up to be so much more. I had to make
nasty and violent promises--I didn't get that. I had to promise to devote my
whole life and energies and time to TSCC. There was so much silly tying of
stings and moving clothes around and on and off or whatever, and it had to
be just exactly right or an old lady did it for me. So many silly handshakes
and dumb things to say, and I HAD to memorize THIS to get into
And all through the ceremony, I had to keep thinking "This is God's Will, This is God's Will", over and over. That and wanting to be married to my husband [wedding came next] is what got me through the first time.
|Subject:||And NO one gets their money's worth out of it!|
|Date:||Mar 13 15:24|
|Way overpriced and totally creepy/embarrassing to
|Subject:||And I thought there was something wrong with ME because|
|Date:||Mar 14 01:20|
|I couldn't get anything "spiritual" out of it!|
|Subject:||I'm not embarrassed|
|Date:||Mar 14 03:47|
|What an interesting question, very thought provoking.
I'm not embarrassed that I willingly participated in the temple ceremonies because at the time I believed in the church wholeheartedly. I feel great sorrow for those still involved though.
I speak openly about the temple to non-member friends and they are fascinated by it. I think that the temple and it's 'weirdness' is a telling tale of mormonism and should get as much exposure as possible.
I have a lot of emotional reactions to the temple and mormonism but I can't say I embarrassed as such.
Actually, now I think about it, I was more embarrassed about the temple when I was TBM because although I used to go 'faithfully' I always thought it somewhat strange.
In fact one of my good (nevermo) friends was so amazed when I told her about the temple session she was a little jealous that she didn't have a new name. So GayRM and I chose one for her, Aspartame, and she is very happy now and doesn't feel so left out.
Mine's Phoebe by the way. Nice to meet you. ;o)
|Subject:||My first thought walking into the Celestial Room for the first time (minor swear)|
|Date:||Mar 14 04:10|
|Author:||General in the Pre-Existence|
|When I went through the first time with my parents,
and the damn thing finally ended, I remember walking into the Celestial
Room, looking around, seeing everyone in their outfits and thinking
"What the hell.......? Do I really look THAT ridiculous?"
|Subject:||Re: The endowment is secret because it's embarrassing.|
|Date:||Mar 14 04:17|
|When I tell others about the whole temple/garmie thing I make it VERY clear that I only know about it because of my parents and upbringing (I've known WAY more about the temple than I was supposed to because I'm good at ease dropping, I ask WAY to many questions and my aunts have big mouths). I make sure to tell people that I left when I was 17 and wasn't expected to do those things at that age. I'm not so ashamed of proxy baptisms because I was forced to go and it's less freaky.|
|Subject:||Pre-1990 blood oaths it wasn't secret it was satanic.|
|Date:||Mar 14 07:26|
|Now it is just simply it is not secret it is stupid. I
do not think anyone should feel bad about falling for the temple fraud
however. The temple ceremony racket is a scam and a trap that has been
carefully laid. You are not informed a priori what is going to happen, the
doors are shut, you have all of the pressure of family and friends around,
the expectancy of a mission or a wedding in the preceding days, and then you
are coerced to swear before god, angels, and witnesses (under threat of
death pre-1990 and currently under threat of eternal punishment) not to
reveal what you have learned. You are disoriented after the washings and
anointing trauma, dehumanized by being dressed up in what is basically a
religious clown costume, and you realize you are engaging in secret oaths
and combinations that are forbidden by the Book of Mormon.
The biggest favor TSCC could do for itself would be to close all temples immediately and sell the properties.
|Subject:||The Temple: spiritual incest|
|Date:||Mar 13 15:23|
|I think the reason Mormons are reacting so strongly to
the HBO Big Love exposure of their temple ceremony is because deep down,
I believe they have good reason to be.
The temple ceremony is an analog for incest - it is spiritual incest. I know that's a bold claim. Please read on.
What transpires in Mormon temples is secret because it could not be otherwise and be what it is. Just as incest is about secrecy, control and shame, so also is the temple.
Here's why I think it's incestuous - think in terms of metaphor:
The bigger, stronger, more intimidating, adult party in the relationship (God), imposes and act on the younger, weaker, more easily intimidated "child" figure in the relationship as a condition of acceptance - in this case, "Heavenly Father's" acceptance.
The act is initiated by the adult without the child's full, informed consent. In other words, the "child" figure never really knows what's going to happen until after it has already occurred. Afterward, there is no explanation, just shame and bewilderment.
Like other abusive systems, there's not much left to do after the act takes place except to take cues from those around you and pretend that everything is OK and as it should be. (parrot what other temple attendees say - "It was such a spiritual experience!")
The act is secret.
The act is enabled by others who don't have the courage or stature to confront the abuser.
The nakedness of the "child" figure is exposed. (initiatory washing and anointing)
There are dire threats for revealing the act. (pre-1990 penalties).
The "father" figure tells the "child" figure that the act is special, and therefore cannot be revealed. (sacred, not secret).
I think the reason why public revelations about what transpires in the temple arouses such strong feelings is because it compels Mormons to defend the indefensible. It compels them to face their shame.
And that takes courage.
I don't mean to trivialize incest with this comparison. However, when you look at the fact that people spend years, sometimes decades trying to come to grips with the damage that Mormonism has wrought in their lives; when you have support groups and websites like this one for recovery; when you have families destroyed over it, I think that the comparison is appropriate.
|Subject:||Thanks Truman, I don't think you're being out of line with this metaphor.|
|Date:||Mar 13 15:27|
|I've always considered what they do in the temple to
be Emotional Rape for the very same reasons.
|Subject:||I only disagree on one point---|
|Date:||Mar 14 23:48|
|I do not think God has anything to do with the temple
crap--the Mormons just SAY he does.
Otherwise, I think this idea is right on the money.
|Subject:||It makes sense|
|Date:||Mar 14 23:49|
|since Mormonism follows the general pattern of an abuser/victim mentality. To be a member of the church is to be in an abusive relationship with an extreme need to pretend to yourself and the world, that everything is OK. It follows that their peak religious experience, the temple, would be the extreme abuse. Great post.|
|Subject:||Once again I have to pat myself on the back....|
|Date:||Mar 15 00:52|
|and congratulate myself for becoming an atheist and
quitting the Morg at age 17, without ever coming near a Momo Temple.
The key to my action was refusing to believe in magic. Religion is based in magic. As soon as a person refuses to be taken in by the magic, s/he is free of the Mormon cult.
|Subject:||I don't know about incest, but it was definitely SEXUAL for me.|
|Date:||Mar 15 10:06|
|In early youth, I was really "in touch" (so to speak)
with my body. My friends and I, like a lot of kids, were focused on bodies,
genitals, nakedness, underwear, playing "doctor," and the like.
And as I became aware of the secret temple stuff that my older siblings and my mom told me about, I recall thinking/feeling the following:
* When I saw the one-piece garments with the holes (marks) in them, hanging on the line to dry, I thought my parents must be kinky to so openly draw attention to their nipples.
* At age 19, I was getting ready for my first trip to the temple. Mom and I went to the "BEHAVE Clothing Mills" and bought some garments. I knew I'd be wearing them all the time, so when we got home, I tried on a pair. I can STILL remember how sensual it was to take off all my clothes (alone in my bedroom, but with the approval of my mom) and put on the new smooth cotton one-piece garment. I remember thinking, "It's ok to do this, since all temple Mormons do it all the time." I suppose that the IDEA of doing it appealed as much as the sexual feelings I got while putting them on.
* Eventually, the day came for me to go to the temple for the first time. I found myself in one of the preparation rooms, totally naked under the pancho shield, and waiting for the washing & anointing to begin. I happened to notice someone there I had met a few days earlier in a clothing store (anyone shop for suits at Mr. Mac?). It was another young man - very handsome - who was also going on a mission. He was very attractive to me, since I was a gay man - but totally closeted at that time. The sides of our pancho shields were open, and I could see some "parts" of the other young male candidates. Naturally, I took the opportunity to look at HIS naked parts.
Ahem. Yes, well....... eventually some older man would be reaching inside to touch our bodies. I was DEATHLY afraid he'd be touching my genitals (he didn't), and I was also DEATHLY afraid I'd "respond" and thus be revealed as a gay young man (I didn't).
But -- OH WOW! What other church legitimizes nakedness, and naked touching? I felt such a rush, but along with that was the guilt and shame of actually LIKING it.
Sorry all you straight male temple goers. You and your naked bodies (under the shields) were the object of my attention that day. But hey, "I" wasn't the one who set it up like this. I was just there, doing the "right thing," right?
I was able to move through this pseudo-sexual ceremony without any revelation of my dark sexual desire. But I sure do REMEMBER it well, even after so many years.
* On my mission, I encountered some practically thread-bare garments worn by my companions, and they might as well have been naked. THOSE were also memorable moments for me on my mission. Let me put it this way: I ALWAYS checked out my companion's garments, to see if the button on the back flap had fallen off, and hoped that it had. Oh... my..... GOODNESS!
Again, my sincere apologies to my straight companions (NOT!). And FWIW, I know that I had at least 2 gay companions, who were probably also checking ME out in my garments.
* In talking to other gay Mormons over the years, I found that I was not the only man who got a sexual response from wearing garments, going to the temple, talking about sex and nakedness.
* When the church went to 2-piece garments, I recall thinking, "How could they do this?" It was like a LIBERATION. One of my gay friends commented, "It sure does make sex a lot more convenient."
* I don't know who was MORE focused on sex - ME, or the LDS church. But certainly, the LDS church facilitates the focus and development of sexual issues in young mens' lives.
In summary, I'll quote Homer Simpson, who faces sexual issues in his family by calling them "some UNDERWEAR thing."
Clearly, the LDS church has "an UNDERWEAR thing."
And clearly, so did I, and perhaps it was at least in part BECAUSE of the church that I did.
Note to Truman: One of the things that rings true about what you wrote is that the temple experience was all so SECRET that we could never talk about it. I didn't feel "raped" by God at the time, but I sure wasn't going to talk to anyone about it what I DID feel. So the guilt, shame and secrecy were definitely a part of my experience there.
|Subject:||Re: The Temple: spiritual incest|
|Date:||Mar 15 10:24|
|I want to disagree because it's such an unflattering
analogy, but I can't.
Where there is no informed consent, but coercion instead, there is abuse.
If the church would just allow people to know ahead of time so that they could object without disappointing a crowd of well-wishers at the temple, it would be fine. But they don't.
|Subject:||I see your description more as pedophilia . . .|
|Date:||Mar 15 10:38|
|rather than incest. Incest can be father/daughter but
it can also be brother/sister or cousins, for example.
I do see the strong dominating the weak, but that's also just patriarchial, which also describes the entire Mormon religion.
|Subject:||My lame temple wedding|
|Date:||Mar 15 16:30|
|My wedding day was the beginning of the end for me. I
knew my husband to be for less than a year. NO ONE questioned whether I knew
him well enough. He was a returned missionary, and we met at BYU. I was
never even courted, we never really went on dates. Just hung out and talked.
Oh yes, he took me for an ice cream once. We shared a fudgecicle. No one
bothered to give me any councel on finding the right man FOR ME, just
promoting the RM title, and temple worthiness.
My wedding cost my mother $76.00. That was for fabric for the wedding dress I made myself. I bought little pearls at Provo Craft and Floral to sew onto it, and some fake flowers for my little boquet, that I also made myself. I remember shopping for them and being disappointed that this was all I would be getting. But it didn't matter. I was doing the right thing in the eyes of the lord. My wedding ring was a thin gold band - no diamond. My brother in law took the photos, my sister made a cake. We had a lame "reception" at my sister's house. I tried to act cheerful, but I had learned to not expect much for myself, that it didn't matter. I was doing the right thing in the eyes of the lord.
There ceremony in the temple was weird. There was no escape, it was my wedding day. I couldn't just walk out. I had no idea that I would actually be wearing a GREEN APRON over my wedding dress. I was surprised to see my husband-to-be in a big baker hat, kneeling at the alter. I told myself it didn't matter, I was doing what the lord wanted me to do. The movie was weird, with Adam and Eve and that scene with the Baptist minister. It didn't matter that I barely knew the man, I bowed my head and said "yes" and promised to obey him. No matter that I'm the one with the common sense and the brains. He had the penis. That gave him authority over me. I didn't really believe that god would make me stay with him if I didn't want to be after a while. I didn't really believe the blood oaths were literal, but I couldn't believe I had to do this with no prior knowledge of what I would be promising. It was my wedding day. I was stuck doing whatever was asked of me.
On my wedding day I found out I was "Rhoda". No matter that I hated the name, it was given to me by god.
I am amazed that I was conditioned to expect so little for myself. And that is exactly what I got. The marriage didn't last, and I raised my daughter on my own. I left when I was pregnant with her.
I'm selfish now. And it works for me. I rebuilt my life the way I want it. I love my work, I love my friends, I love my sister. Most of all I love myself. I take care of myself. I come first. Life is on my terms or not at all. I expect everything. And I get it.
|Subject:||New York Post takes on Big Love controversy, swiping at Mormons & quoting actual Veil mumbo-jumbo|
|Date:||Mar 15 16:04|
by Linda Stasi, New York Post
14 March 2009
"Last week, Mormon Church elders, who have wished in the past that 'Big Love' would take a big hike, practically went apoplectic after discovering that the creators (of the show, not the universe) will, tomorrow night, recreate one of their most secret rituals - the 'endowment ceremony.'
"Congregants around the country are circulating petitions and threatening to drop HBO if they persist in airing the show, but HBO is persisting in airing the show anyway.
"Me? I figure that anything that doesn't involve say, disemboweling sinners (Bernie Madoff excepted) or the indiscriminate use of the rack should be open for all to see. What if you wanted to join up - wouldn't you want to know the secrets before signing on? (You'll have to watch the show to get the "disemboweling" reference.) But alas, every religion has their secrets.
"OK, so now that I've seen the super-secret episode and it hasn't caused me to lose my hair or contemplate plural marriage (although having a wife would come in pretty handy), I'm here to confess that I don't see 'endowment' as any stranger than some Catholic rituals I grew up with - including confession.
"The endowment ceremony appears to be a kind of confirmation in which members participate before events such as marriage or missionary assignments. The big difference is that after a confirmation or even a bar or bat mitzvah, you wear an extremely fancy outfit and dance a lot - and after an endowment ceremony you wear holy religious underwear under your regular underwear and don't dance.
"But tomorrow's 'may-be-the-best-episode-ever,' is more than the ceremony. In fact, it begins when Barb is visited by church bigwigs who ask her flat out if she's living in a polygamous relationship. When she confesses the truth, she's asked to participate in an endowment ceremony before facing a hearing on her excommunication. Then they ask her about her underwear.
"Although the actual endowment ceremony in real life takes two hours and involves recreating church history, only a small part of the ceremony is shown here, and it involves the wearing of veils and confirming that one wants: 'Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout eternity.'
"Like a scene out of 'The Sopranos,' you'll be happy to know that wearing a wire (OK, hiding a tape recorder) is strictly forbidden. The idea being, apparently, to keep the whole thing a secret.
"Secret? Like a wise man once said, 'If more than one person knows about it, it ain't a secret no more.'
"At the end of the day or at least at the end of this episode, the small bit of the secret ceremony that's shown is not nearly as intriguing as the kidnappings, murder, sale of secret documents, family splits and other deliciousness running wild in Utah.
"As much fun as not having to wear two sets of underwear."
|Subject:||For newcomers: Why Mormons' complaints re: Big Love are hypocritical.....|
|Date:||Mar 15 22:11|
|A week ago, when debate over the depiction of the LDS
temple ceremony in the HBO series "Big Love" was heating up, BYU professor
Kent Jackson complained that the temple scene showed "an insensitivity to
sacred things." Jackson's complaint led me to remark in another post here:
>Gee, I wonder if Jackson also believes that the LDS church's depiction in the temple endowment ceremony for more than 100 years of a Protestant minister being hired by Satan to teach false doctrines to people was insensitive to Protestants.
For readers who aren't aware, this was a major plotline in the endowment ceremony from the 1850s to 1990, when it was deleted as part of wholesale alterations. Other changes included removing the "blood oaths," wherein patrons would pantomime committing suicide by slashing their throats or abdomen as a penalty for revealing the secrets of the temple, and deleting the ritual of the "five points of fellowship at the veil," where initiates were made to closely embrace a temple worker, who was usually a complete stranger, for several minutes, while reciting ritualistic dialogue.
Below is the text of the scene involving the Christian minister, in a conversation with Adam and Satan. In the actual ceremony (live-action or film version), the minister character wore a typical black suit with clerical collar.
This was secretly tape-recorded by a temple-goer in 1984. Upon reading it, you can see why the entire storyline was deleted in 1990. In light of things like this, I trust that you'll agree that Mormon apologists have little room to complain about non-Mormons being "insensitive to (their) sacred things."
ADAM: Who are you?
LUCIFER: I am the God of this world.
ADAM: You, the God of this world?
LUCIFER: Yes, what do you want?
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 sectarian minister approaches.)
LUCIFER: Good Morning sir!
SECTARIAN MINISTER: Good morning!
(The preacher turns and looks into the camera.)
SECTARIAN MINISTER: A fine congregation!
LUCIFER: Yes, they are a very good people. They are concerned about
religion. Are you a preacher?
SECTARIAN MINISTER: I am.
LUCIFER: Have you been to college and received training for the
SECTARIAN MINISTER: Certainly! A man cannot preach unless has been
trained for the ministry.
LUCIFER: Do you preach the orthodox religion?
SECTARIAN 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.
SECTARIAN 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.)
SECTARIAN MINISTER: I understand that you are inquiring after religion.
ADAM: I was calling upon Father.
SECTARIAN 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.
SECTARIAN 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.
SECTARIAN MINISTER: My dear friend, I am sorry for you.
|Subject:||Mormons complain about being ridiculed but, really who are they to talk?|
|Date:||Mar 14 16:45|
|Take this, all you "Big Love"-lovin' Christians, from
Mormonism's Christianity-dissing top dogs:
"What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world"
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 270
"Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the 'whore of Babylon' whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. Any person who shall be so corrupt as to receive a holy ordinance of the Gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent"
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255
"After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They all belong to Babylon"
- Apostle George Q. Cannon said, Gospel Truth, p. 324
"When the light came to me I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:73
"With a regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:199
"The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God"
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171
"Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176
"Christians—those poor, miserable priests brother Brigham was speaking about—some of them are the biggest whoremasters there are on the earth, and at the same time preaching righteousness to the children of men. The poor devils, they could not get up here and preach an oral discourse, to save themselves from hell; they are preaching their fathers' sermons —preaching sermons that were written a hundred years before they were born. ...You may get a Methodist priest to pour water on you, or sprinkle it on you, and baptize you face foremost, or lay you down the other way, and whatever mode you please, and you will be damned with your priest."
- Apostle Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, 5:89
"The Gospel of modern Christendom shuts up the Lord, and stops all communication with Him. I want nothing to do with such a Gospel, I would rather prefer the Gospel of the dark ages, so called"
- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 196
"Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century."
- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167 "Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom."
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 10:127
"What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast."
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
"What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing... Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God."
- Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
"Instead of having apostles, prophets, and other inspired men in the church now, receiving visions, dreams, revelations, ministry of angels and prophesies for the calling of officers, and for the government of the church--they have a wicked, corrupt, uninspired pope, or uninspired archbishops, bishops, clergymen, etc., who have a great variety of corrupt forms of godliness, but utterly deny the gift of revelation, and every other miraculous power which always characterized Christ's Church.""These manmade, powerless, hypocritical, false teachers, make merchandise of the people, by preaching for large salaries, amounting in many instances to tens of thousands of dollars annually. They and their deluded followers are reprobate, denouncing the faith once delivered to the Saints."
- Apostle Orson Pratt, "Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon," p. 20
"Must we, under the broad folds of the American Constitution, be compelled to bow down to the narrow contracted notions of Apostate Christianity? Must we shut up our consciences in a nut shell, and be compelled to submit to the bigoted notions, and whims, and customs of the dark ages of popery, transferred to us through the superstitious of our fathers? Must we be slaves to custom and render homage to the soul-destroying, sickening influences of modern Christianity? No!"
- Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, Vol.1, No.7, p. 111
"And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foudation of this (Mormon) church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth..."
- Supposedly Jesus Christ Himself, Doctrine and Covenants 1:30
"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join."
"I was answered by God that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” He again forbade me to join with any of them;..."
- Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith History 1:18-20
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