Subject: SECRET or SACRED?
Date: Jan 02 13:08
Author: Moablo
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Have you ever talked to a Mormon about what goes on in the temple? Of course they claim they can't talk about it because it's SACRED. So I found a way to put it into perspective.

I ask them what is the most important and SACRED thing about their gospel. Is it not JESUS? In their eagerness to prove themselves to be Christian, they inevitably say yes. To say otherwise is to make their claims to be Christian seem ridiculous, for nothing can exceed the importance and sacredness of Jesus Christ.

I then explain that if they are willing to openly discuss the most sacred aspect of their belief, why then can't we discuss something much less sacred openly with respect? The bottom line is that they are sworn to SECRECY not to reveal what goes on in their temples. They are not sworn to SACREDNESS.

When you are forbidden to discuss something, it is SECRET. When you can openly discuss something with reverence, it is SACRED.

Jesus and Christianity has nothing to hide. These SECRET temple rituals are NOT SACRED. It is no wonder they have become the topic of ridicule.

Subject: Yes, you're right! And why are they secret?
Date: Jan 02 13:20
Author: Cheryl
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Perhaps because they are embarrassing and cult-like? And because people need to get something for all that tithing and worthiness.

Subject: You make a good point.
Date: Jan 02 13:33
Author: Moablo
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Perhaps many want to keep them "secret" because they make them embarrased. When these temple rituals are discussed openly, you can sense the Mormons squirm. They sound cultlike, weird, bizarre, and ridiculous. A religion that is suppose to be down to earth suddenly becomes embarassing. For many people, one visit to the temple spells an end to their belief.

Subject: Re: SECRET or SACRED?
Date: Jan 02 13:49
Author: PottersClay
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Whats so funny is, for someone like me who has never been to the temple, to know what goes on there. Don't they know that their secret has been reveiled time and time again? So now, whats so special or sacred about it? And if God is no respector of men.....then so says "he may go....she may not". Who is to make that judgment as to who is worthy or not? Nuts I tell ya!!! Secret or Sacred? naaaahh more like Scary!

Subject: Why? Because...
Date: Jan 02 20:51
Author: Mormon Person
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Don't you get it, Potter's Clay??? It doesn't matter if anyone here were to question an active Mormon what all know from being here because we are considered Mormon and Ex Mormon weeners. We don't count to many active Mormons. Only to Heavenly Father for those who believe in him. Just not active, holier then thou Mormons. Thinkers and questioners that make good points can't be in their clicks. (And those who are onto their game are a threat)

Subject: The Temple is secret and closed because of Polygamy
Date: Jan 02 14:58
Author: Deconstructor
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This is just my opinion, based on my research of official church history and early mormon diaries. I believe that the the entire temple ordinances and their secrecy were created by Smith so he could keep his polygamy a secret.

Pre-Polygamy Mormonism in Kirtland
Under Smith's direction, the Mormons in Kirtland built a temple. But it was nothing like they did later in Nauvoo. The Mormon temple in Kirtland was open to the public. All the weddings performed in the temple were open to non-members. Mormons had no garments or secret blood/death oath ceremonies in Kirtland, well after the restoration of the church and the BoM which "contains a fullnest of the everlasting gospel."

Smith Started Secretly Practicing Polygamy
Smith was the first to begin taking on other wives. He did so without the consent or knowledge of his first wife, Emma. Hardly anyone knew at first, only his closest associates. Smith's first secret weddings to these women were held in the woods at night with only two or three witnesses.

Introduction of Secret Ceremonies
Smith developed the first secret blood/death oath ceremony in the room above the Whitney Store. There was no temple, but Smith inducted a few close friends - all men - into his secret order. Later, these would be the same men that first joined Smith in secret plural marriages. However, there were not any yet secret garments.

Secret Society, Secret Underwear
Once his close male friends had been initiated into his new inner-circle of "the Church of the Lamb of God," Smith began introducing them to polygamy. It was near this time that the first garments came on the scene. Hyrum directed the sewing of the first set, which were very different than those used today. The key here is that all of this was ultra top-secret. At first, the only ones wearing garments were the ones who embraced polygamy and the secretcy it required.

Celestial Marriage
Smith taught that the only marriages that lasted after this life were polygamous marriages conducted under his new secret "sealing" ceremnoy. By definition, a "Celestial Marriage" was a polygomous one. Smith taught that men could be "sealed" to more than one woman - even if she was already married - and these marriages would last for eternity. Smith sealed himself to many women, including a 15-year-old girl, two adopted daughters living with him, and several women who's husbands were still living. Based on the diaries of these women, the sealings included intimate sexual contact. Some resulted in children. All of this went on without the knowledge of Emma.

Garments and Endowments Only for Men
Interesting to note that the women secretly sealed to Smith and his buddies were not endowed and did not wear garments. Emma was the first woman to be offered the endowment ceremony over a year after Smith had been giving it to his closest male friends. Smith offered Emma the chance to be the first endowed woman, but only on condition that she accept polygamy. At first she accepted, but then refused.

The Secret Garment Connection
The garments were a constant and intimate reminder to the men of the secret oaths they had taken regarding polygamy and the endowment.

Secret Combinations Revealed
Eventually, William Law and others blew the lid on Smith's secret ceremonies and secret underwear. Mobs started looking for Mormons wearing garments because they knew that was the sign of polygamy.

Weeks before Smith was killed, he sent a letter to the traveling Apostles to burn their garments. Smith also burned what he thought was the only copy of the secret polygamy "revelation." Smith took off his garments and instructed William Clayton and others to do likewise. Later in Utah, Brigham Young would publish a pamplet that called Smith a "fallen prophet" when referring to these actions.

Garments Become a Holy Protection
Smith and Hyrum were not wearing their garments when they were killed. The other men in the Jail lived and were wearing garments. John Taylor was miraculously saved by his watch, which stopped a bullet from hitting his heart. Brigham Young and later, many Mormons, hailed this as a sign that garments could stop bullets and were not just spiritual protection but also physical protection and should always be worn.

Secret Rituals Divide the Fold
After Smith's death, those who followed the polygamist Mormons led by Brigham young kept wearing garment and performing the secret endowment ordinances that made polygamy possible. Those Mormons who loved Smith but rejected polygamy either never wore garments or stopped wearing them. All but the "Brighamites" as they were called, rejected the secret Nauvoo temple ceremonies and recognized them for what they were - a conduit for polygamy.

Again, this is my opinion based on what I've studied. It's clear to me that the secret temple rites are all lasting legacies of polygamy. This happened because when the church denounced the practice of polygamy, they did not denounced any of the plural marriage doctrine or rituals.

Without Smith's lust for women and power, millions of Mormons wouldn't be wearing garments or worrying about temple recommend "worthiness."

Subject: Re: The Temple is secret and closed because of Polygamy
Date: Jan 02 19:13
Author: Vashti
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Thanks, Deconstructor. That was an excellent overview, and I hope that you will eventually publish this material in a more expanded and scholarly fashion, either on the net or in old-fashioned book form. And I want a signed copy, please.

Subject: Re: The Temple is secret and closed because of Polygamy
Date: Jan 02 20:59
Author: Mormon Person
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If this is the real deal, it makes Joseph Smith look like a friggin sicko mental case. No wonder people didn't want that type of a Mormon in their town--specially back in those days. It all sounds from what you wrote, really disgusting and creepy to be perfectly honest.

What books that were at one time church material or write ups that were at one time allowed by the LDS church did you get this info from. I honestly want to know. That's embarassing to me as a Mormon. Can you imagine what Emma must have been put through emotionally?? Nowonder she left the church. She probably just had enough of it all. She probably would be in some kind of therapy had they offered that type of help back then.

Subject: May I recommend...
Date: Jan 03 00:18
Author: Pt Loma
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...that you read "In Sacred Loneliness" addresses many of the Emma Smith issues that you raised. Incidentally, it is available from Deseret Book, so it can't be classed as "anti" literature. But most thinking people who read it will come to the same conclusion about Joseph Smith that you voiced.

Subject: Joseph Smith
Date: Jan 03 16:25
Author: Just hanging around
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I really think he was just a morally weak and greedy man who stumbled on a way to exploit the credulity of most of mankind to believing in belief systems that promise to make them special and immortal. (i.e. Safe).

He probably was amazed at what he was eventually able to get away with, and morally corrupt enough to take what his followers were willing to give him. And look at the power this little money-digging farm boy gained over others - I understand it is more irresistible than money. He planned to be President, or if not, to conquer the US Government - I guess we're lucky his group of fanatics was small.

Subject: Great approach.
Date: Jan 02 16:08
Author: Diego

I think that keeping people from talking about it is the only thing that has kept it from being removed from Mormonism. If people were free to talk about it, they would find out that they aren't alone in thinking that the whole thing is bizarre.

Subject: Sacred nonsense
Date: Jan 02 17:36
Author: edy
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If mormons can't talk about sacred things, then why were these things publicized to the world:

Joseph Smith meeting God in the sacred grove.
Joseph Smith visiting with angels.
Wilford Woodruff getting word from God to stop plural marriage.
Spencer Kimball getting word from God to stop racial discrimination.

I guess they weren't sacred events.

Subject: Don't forget Mormon funerals...
Date: Jan 02 17:53
Author: Deconstructor
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..where they flaunt the temple clothes.

How odd that temple clothes are ultra-sacred, never to be discussed outside the temple, and then they are put on display in an open casket at a public funeral. Funerals generally attract a lot of non-members, where they can all see the temple clothes - baker hat and green apron - on display.

I never did understand this contradiction, especially considering that early church leaders including Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, were not buried in their temple garb. I wonder when this bizzare tradition started, since it has no basis in doctrine.

At my father's funeral, several non-members asked me to explain "the wierd clothes." As a TBM at the time, I didn't feel I could really explain them other than say they were his temple clothes. How awkward.

If they are so secret/sacred, why risk flaunting them at funerals?

Subject: Re: Don't forget Mormon funerals...
Date: Jan 02 21:04
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ARE U SERIOUS? THE HAT HAS TO BE PUT ON THE MAN AS WELL? HOLY COW! No wonder Mormon's get a "weirdo" reputation. You also made another good point with the funeral. How in the world can so many not wonder about the funeral temple clothing thing? It's so simple. How can so many not wonder that. I bet they do. Baaa Baaa

Subject: Re: SECRET or SACRED?
Date: Jan 02 23:44
Author: bat
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my grandfather, a WWII vet., told me a while back that he works in the St. George temple. i asked him "what do you do there?"
he replied, "i can't tell you, it's classified".
that was before i knew of all of the cultic ceremonies performed there. i'm gonna try to press him for more information next time. i want a TBM to look me in the face and deny (or admit) what REALLY goes on there.

Subject: Coming Clean for the Lawd
Date: Jan 03 16:36
Author: Just hanging around
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Wouldn't that make a great TV commercial for the Not-Mormans.
Mr & Mrs Not-Morman posing in their cute little temple clothes as they offer the TV audience their King James Bibles. They could even consider giving us a sneak peak at the Holy Underwear too, and letting us know it's life-saving properties.
"Hi folks! Here's the Meat before Milk version of our Holy Message to Mankind"

Subject: You found a way to put it into perspective???
Date: Jan 03 01:03
Author: Kelda
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Let's not resurrect the dead horse, OK? This is a very old argument that has been explained to us time and time again. The word "sacred" means "set apart for a religious purpose". The Mormon temple is "set apart" for the purpose of instructing Mobots who have measured up to their high standards. The ceremonies of the temple are SET APART from the world.

Lets sift the wheat and the tares and move on to better arguments.

Subject: No, Kelda, it is you who is missing the point.
Date: Jan 03 11:00
Author: SallyForth
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It's not an argument. It's an observation. It is Mormons themselves who say they cannot discuss what goes on in their temple because it is SACRED. Apparently sacred things cannot be discussed? Give us a break. Think of the difficulty Mormons would have converting people if they told them up front about the temple rituals. How many less Mormons would go through the temple the first time if they were told BEFOREHAND about the temple rituals and oaths that must be taken? Moablo does put it into perspective. Being "set apart" means nothing. Like Moablo said, if it can't be discussed, it's SECRET. But you know what the funny thing is? The SECRET's out.

Subject: And it's not the first time, Sally... (n/t)
Date: Jan 03 14:23
Author: Just who IS "Kelda"?
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Subject: Sacred, secret, stupid, and scary! ; ) nt
Date: Jan 03 14:48
Author: Fly
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