Speaking out Publicly about the Mormon Temple
Subject: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 18:48 2003
Author: steve benson

Have any of you spoken "out of school," so to speak, about what really goes on inside Palmyra Joe's "Temple of Doom"?

If you have revealed to others the signed, sealed and delivered secrets of the temple outside its "holy" walls, why did you do so--and how did you feel before, during and after "unveiling" it all?

Recently I was forwarded a letter of complaint, which was originally sent to the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin.

The author was an irate Mormon, upset with some things I had openly aired about the LDS temple ceremony.

By invitation of the FFRF (and after some long-distance cajoling over a period of many months), I agreed to speak publicly last year at its San Diego national convention of atheists, humanists, rationalists, free thinkers and other godless riff raff, about what really goes on behind those silent, imposing temple doors of Mormondumb.

Now, before some of you, in horror, do the sign of the cross at the sight of the word "atheist," let me add that I have also spoken about leaving the LDS Church and its many doctrinal "delights" before groups of exMos, neverMos, slowMos and Mormon gays and lesbians, from Massachusetts to Utah to Nevada to Washington state--and other points in between.

My remarks in these forums--as well as in San Diego--emphasized leaving the mess of Mormonism--so you believers out there can thank God and relax.

But the San Diego convention was the first time I had gone into any real detail about trippin' down the Mormon temple tunnel.

Which prompted the letter of complaint from the offended True Believing Latter-day Saint.

At the end of the letter is a link to the actual speech.

To Whom it May Concern,

I respect your personal wishes to reject the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, however I feel it immature and mean spirited to publish literature of this type.  Not only do you misrepresent the church you also deprive others of making their own  informed decisions on Latter-Day Saints. I pity you as you have nothing productive and positive to do with your time and that you feel so badly about the church.




Subject: Re: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 18:54
Author: Davey
Mail Address:

In what way are they saying that you are misrepresenting the church? You tell the truth about the temple and somehow that is a misrepresentation?

Just like a TBM whenever you quote from the Comprehensive History or JOD they say it is taken out of context. My experience they are the ones who misrepresent and take things out of context when it serves their own selfish purposes.

Subject: Re: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 19:03
Author: Randy J.

"Not only do you misrepresent the church you also deprive others of making their own informed decisions on Latter-Day Saints."

Very funny. Exactly how is the public supposed to be able to make "informed decisions" about such aspects of Mormonism as the temple, for example, when the church itself will not disclose that information? The ONLY place the public can get a "responsible opposing viewpoint" of the Mormon story is Ex-Mormons/ anti-Mormons.

Subject: I tell everyone in a general way
Date: Dec 03 19:03
Author: Dave in Hollywood
Mail Address:

Whenever it comes up in conversation or there's an opportunity, I'll spill the beans, although I don't remember every detail (thank heavens). I just mention the Masonry connection, the funny clothes, funny underwear, secret handshakes, etc. In a general way.

People are amazed and shocked of course. It IS shocking. And ridiculous, and a few other things actually.

The last two times I remember talking about it were when someone mentioned how "beautiful" the Mormon temple was which she could see from her office. The other time was when I was walking down the hallway and someone was whispering about magical underwear. I told them everything you've heard is true.

Subject: It took me a while, but
Date: Dec 03 19:10
Author: NEPA
Mail Address:

now I spill all the beans. People ask me, "How could you do those things?" As you know, they're shocked and some have questioned if I was really telling the truth.

Since my son in an "investigator", my wife and I reenacted the whole thing (pre-1990). He talked to his 18 YO girlfriend about it and it cased a two day rift between them. She thinks that we are making it up. I told my son to ask her father and he got the usual "sacred", but didn't deny it. The girl is weirded out now.

Subject: Re: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 19:15
Author: anon
Mail Address:

I would never go public about what goes on in the temple any more than I would go public about anything that is held sacred by others....especially members of my family whom I love. I would not disrespect their right to believe what they want nor desecrate those beliefs! I do not believe in the church or the temple ceremonies, but I would never do something that would hurt my family members on such a personal level. I mean, I'm not buddhist and don't believe in the dali lama, but that doesn't mean I don't respect the right of others to believe in him. I find it interesting that there are those that think the rest of the world should believe the way that they do whether they are TBMs or not. Respecting the rights of others to believe what they want is one of the most liberating parts of leaving the church.

Subject: Re: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 19:21
Author: jenga
Mail Address:

Respecting others' beliefs is fine if they don't go around saying that the reason you apostatized was that Satan had gotten hold of you or that you were living in the midst of Satan. And that's what mormons do....so I think it is fair to inform people just exactly what goes on...mormons are hardly respectful of others' beliefs -- they will brand a good friend or family member as being in satan's clutches. So, I say, TRUTH IN ADVERTISING! They advertise how mainstream and family oriented they are....and then lock nice people out of a "private club" and take their money. Why respect that? Amen to Steve.

Subject: Re: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 19:31
Author: anon
Mail Address:

I think it's important to respect the beliefs of others regardless of whether they respect my beliefs or not. Call me crazy, but I just don't get my feathers ruffled over self righteous people. If someone wants to believe something other than what I believe, they have that right. Besides, I have noticed that retaliating to self righteousness with self righteousness closes any doors for open, honest discussion and only serves to provide many TBMs with a new story in RS about how apostacy leads to unhappiness. Showing respect for others' beliefs, on the other hand, keeps communication open so that when questions do arise, my friends know they can approach me without fear of an "I told you so!"

Subject: so respecting others' beliefs means not speaking about them?
Subject: Re: so respecting others' beliefs means not speaking about them?
Date: Dec 03 19:39
Author: anon
Mail Address:

Of course not. But if I am aware that talking about something openly will seriously offend someone (as if I had touched the arc of the covenant or something), I am going to respect that. Sometimes a little sensitivity is required.

Subject: Re: so respecting others' beliefs means not speaking about them?
Date: Dec 03 19:44
Author: njy
Mail Address:

really? wow. you must not be able to talk about almost anything then. i agree sensitivity is a good thing, but if we use the idea of offending someone else as a guide to what we say or do we'd be rendered mute and motionless.

Subject: Re: so respecting others' beliefs means not speaking about them?
Date: Dec 03 19:58
Author: anon
Mail Address:

Standing up for yourself and expressing your opinion does not require that we step all over eachother in a "my way or the highway" kind of way. There is plenty of damaging evidence against the church that can be talked about without making a TBM family member or friend feel disrespected. The temple ceremonies, on the other hand, will almost certainly lead to a feeling of personal attack. I simply do not wish to put my loved ones in a situation in which they feel I am trying to violate their most sacred beliefs even though I don't share those beliefs. As I said in the beginning, I am comfortable with the idea that not everyone believes the way I do....and I am certain that my family members not only appreciate that, but that they are more comfortable talking with me about their own questions because of it.

Subject: Re: so respecting others' beliefs means not speaking about them?
Date: Dec 03 20:09
Author: njy
Mail Address:

let's stay on topic here. the discussion was about discussing the temple ceremony in general, not with TBM family members. i completely understand why you would not want to do so with family members because of respect for them and another of other issues as well. however, the topic was about steve benson speaking to a group of nevermos about the temple ceremony. and this seems to me a completely suitable and acceptable thing to do.

Subject: My last statement on the subject.
Date: Dec 03 20:36
Author: anon
Mail Address:

I know what you are saying, it's just that, in a way, I feel like going public with something like the temple is possibly akin to slapping TBM family members in the face. It's like saying, "Hey world, get a load of what my family believes!" I don't have any desire to publicly mock my family's beliefs. If you or Steve, or anyone else has a desire to go public with that stuff, that's your right. I just don't think I ever would. I guess that I've decided that my relationship with my family is too important to let something like the mormon church come between us.

Subject: i guess i just don't see speaking about beliefs being the same as mocking said beliefs
Date: Dec 03 20:51
Author: njy
Mail Address:

i believe one can speak openly, honestly and respectfully about the private beliefs of others.

mormons believe that those things that are sacred can not be spoken about. no, that which is sacred ought to be spoken about with reverence and respect. but that which should not be spoken about is something merely secret, not sacred.

Subject: Secret or Sacred?
Date: Dec 03 19:21
Author: Deconstructor

Excellent work Steve. As a former-member of the church, I feel no obligation to keep my temple experience a secret, or to honor any of the secrecy death-oaths I took in the temple. At the time I made those oaths it was in good faith, which the church lost when I discovered that they lied.

When Mormons complain about people revealing temple secrets, I wonder if it's really an issue of sacredness or an issue of secrecy. What, after all, is the difference between secret and sacred anyway?

So why is the temple secret?

Who benefits if it's never discussed?

How do temple patrons benefit from the temple being kept a secret?

Should religious ceremonies be kept secret, especially under penalty of death?

One thing that really shocked me about my temple experience is that my family had kept it a secret from me all those years because they were under death oaths. It wasn't because they didn't think I was spiritual enough or because they didn't want to, it was because they had been placed under a death oath to never discuss it.

Sitting there in the middle of the temple endowment for the first time, I realized the church was living the example of Satan:

Moses 5:29
"And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die;"

Weren't we warned as kids growing up in the Mormon Church about "secret combinations?" And yet there I was, making death oaths that my throat would be slit if ever spoke of the temple endowment! I wondered then as I do now, where is any good God found in this?

How convenient that church leaders never have to explain what's taught and acted-out in the temple. Other than the oaths of secrecy, I don't think TBMs talk about the temple because they don't understand it themselves. They would feel completely inadequate and embarrassed if they had to explain it to outsiders.

Subject: Re: Going public on the temple
Date: Dec 03 19:25
Author: Gaea

But the stuff can be had on the internet and before that it was printed up in books, so what's the big deal. And it was all plagiarized by JS from earlier texts and Masonry anyway.

Subject: What his letter REALLY meant:
Date: Dec 03 19:28
Author: Mateo

> To Whom it May Concern,


> I respect your personal wishes to reject the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, however I feel it immature and mean spirited to publish literature of this type.  Not only do you misrepresent the church you also deprive others of making their own  informed decisions on Latter-Day Saints. I pity you as you have nothing productive and positive to do with your time and that you feel so badly about the church.


Translation into english

I like to act tolerant pretend to respect your wishes to reject the One True Church® (you and I both know that I actually look down on you for being different than I am), however I am a little embarrased that you would publish literature of this type. Not only do you make us look like weirdos, but you foil our attempts to lure in converts by not letting them make informed decisions before they are baptized. I will now act superior to you by pittying you and acting like I have the authority to tell you what to do with your time and life.

Seriously... how does disclosing all of the facts about what goes on in the temple "deprive others of making their own informed decisions on Latter-Day Saints"? Wouldn't hiding this information by making it secret, er, "sacred," actually be hindering people from making an informed decision? Geesh...

Shhhhhh, the cat is out of the bag!


Subject: My recent disclosure of temple secrets to co-worker
Date: Dec 03 19:35
Author: Mateo

My boss is TBM. Seeing the influence my boss has on my gullible co-worker, I feared for his intellect and freedom of thought...

I decided to first tell him about Kolob, which he couldn't believe. I then told him about man becoming a god...

To up the ante, I taught him all four secret handshakes for the "temple club," which he still gives to me on occassion as a joke.

Call a spade a spade...


Subject: I don't know what the big deal is, every juicy tidbit is on the internet.
Date: Dec 03 19:50
Author: Brian in Arizona

There is no need to say anything, just give the appropriate web site address. Don't forget about the temple clothes now available on ebay.

Subject: Steve, don't know ya but... you da man!
Date: Dec 03 19:53
Author: Fubeca
Mail Address:

I remember back in the 80's my sister and her husband were living in AZ when you were a big news item for TBMs. You were so "misguided and just didn't understand how the Lord works."

The way it was explained to me, you left the church because you couldn't believe the church was being led by such an old prophet (your grandfather). A few months ago when I read your and you wife's story, I realized there was so much more to it! Go figure that TBM's would simplify and distort an apostate's reasoning.

My sister is going to drop a load when she finds out I agree with YOU!

Subject: Steve, In all fairness I feel I must clarify one thing
Date: Dec 03 19:59
Author: Who me?
Mail Address:

I have read from several posts regarding the penalties for revealing the secrets and as far as my memory serves I don't recall this as being correct (that you agree to have your life taken if you reveal the 'secrets') The message I got was that rather than reveal these things you would suffer your life to be taken. To me that does not translate as agreeing to have your life taken if you talk about it, though I have to admit I still feel very uneasy talking about these things because the consequences seemed very threatening.

Subject: Hairs you can split, as throats we will slit. n/t

Subject: Actually, I would talk about it if anyone were
Date: Dec 03 20:22
Author: Saucie

interested enough to ask, but no has. It's been my experience that the only people who are curious about what goes on in the temple are the mormons who haven't gone yet.
Mormonism is not as interesting to the outside world as
some might think, in fact most people that I've encountered that are aware of my past belief's think that mormonism is a truly weird religion.

Subject: Whenever the subject comes up, I will tell people whatever they wanna know to the best of my ability.
Date: Dec 03 20:24
Author: 2 lazy 2 log in
Mail Address:

And believe you me, none of the people I've talked to about it will ever think of becoming Mormons after the spiel I give them -- unless they're seriously demented.

Subject: I have told several young LDS people before they get into the temple
Date: Dec 03 21:06
Author: In the Know

I am very bothered that the rational details of the LDS temple ceremony are not more forthrightly told to those who want to participate. While I don't believe there is any Real Truth (tm) to any of the ceremonies' promises I try to be sensitive that others hold them secret. I don't disagree that people like Steve, who are wonton to interject little jabs at the sacred relics of the faith, are wrong to talk openly. I just prefer a different tact.

It is interesting that it is the names, handshakes and keywords that Mormons are asked not to reveal, but yet Mormons go hush-hush on talking about the most basic aspects of what the temple is really about besides trite sentiments like "it will make you a forever family."

So to young Mormon kids who want to go to the temple some day, including my lil' sister, I try to respectfully tell them what they're getting thmselves in for:

1) they will be anointed by water and oil before they are given their garments to wear. This is done discreetly, but the truth is you are naked, clothed only by a draped cloth called a "shield." I try to be respectful by saying they make promises to which they receive blessings. I leave it to them to decide whether this procedure is "special" but all usually squirm with discomfort. This gestalt reaction is also what I felt, but despite dutiful attendance to Temple Prep classes, at church and at Institute, no one was courteous to tell me what I was promising to do before the peer pressure to conform was upon me. My wife felt the same way. I have never done Washings and Anointings since. My wife only a few times, and years ago. I think this reaction says something.

2) I tell them they make promises to obey God and to obey their husband (if applicable) as he obeys God. I tell them they promise to give their time, talents and all they possess to the church. I tell them they promise, through symbolic signs and names, to, essentially, be a dedicated Christian. I tell them they promise to be sexually pure. etc.

I could go on, but I'm preaching to the choir here. While I try to be respectful of the "sacred" nature of the rituals, I see no harm in objectively stating what happens there, without derision, so that people, especially prospective inductees, can decide if they are interested in participating.

Because I resent that my first opportunity to decide whether to participate is when all my family and friends were sitting there with me, in the temple, and I dared not raise my hand lest I cause some ripple in the proceedings. All that had happened by then was the Washing. Not even full disclosure of what i would be promising to. My head spun when I could not talk about anything until I met everyone in the Celestial Room and all anyone could say is, "Wasn't that special!?"

Steve is right, there is no binding oath to secrecy, when the "secrets" are bound under such false pretenses. Still, I think it's nice to be courteous and words like "magic underwear" do little but betray a certain bias.
Subject: The LDS church still has a hold on you if . . .(may offend even exmos)
Date: Dec 03 22:38
Author: mary ann benson

. . .you have gone through the temple (in my case, what seems like a gazillion times) and you are unable to speak, read or hear its deepest secrets (the endowment ceremony) without feeling uneasy or becoming offended.

Nine years out of mormonism I thought I was all done recovering. I had broken and thrown off the iron shackles and peeled through layers and layers of patriarchy. I had dealt with my issues in personal therapy, and family and marriage counseling. I thought I was done!

I had even attended an exmo conference years earlier where during a skit, reminiscent of the road show days, a man was wearing his temple clothes. I felt a little uneasy, yet it made sense to me. Here were exmos doing what they needed to do to heal. I just didn’t think I needed to mock the beliefs of others to recover.

So imagine my dismay when, during a road trip last fall to San Diego where my husband was to receive the “Emperor Has No Garments” award, I started feeling nauseous as he read aloud word for word the temple ceremony. No one else was in the car. I became so ill I asked him to stop reading. Clearly, the cult of mormonism was still affecting me on a physical level.

I had been a faithful temple attendee from 1977 to 1991, so I had regularly pantomimed slitting my throat, ripping open my chest and disemboweling my guts while saying, “rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.” The endowment ceremony had been deeply embedded in my body and brain.

So even though I thought I was free of the church, my body told me there was still a dark side of mormonism that I needed to deal with. I remember sitting in the audience as Steve gave his acceptance speech, and how uncomfortable I was. There was not a single mormon in the audience, so I knew he was not “offending” anyone. Why my discomfort? (Some of you may remember me coming on the board and asking for help after that trip. Here is a link to the text of his speech that he was preparing: http://www.ffrf.org/fttoday/dec02/index.php?ft=benson.html)

I am sure that the way I became free of the temple brainwashing was that I talked about it, which wasn't easy at first. I showed my garments to an investigator and my heart began pounding and I was shaking. The first time I showed the temple clothes, my body still shook. At a later date, I put the robe, veil, sash, shoes and apron on for a nevermo friend. My mouth opened and out poured the words.

“I (think of the new name) promise to never reveal the first token of the aaronic priesthood with its accompanying name, sign and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken.”

My nevermo friend was amazed. My brain just clicked on, like someone had pushed the play button on a tape recorder, and out spewed all the tokens, names, signs and penalties. Then I told her about the veil.

Tap, tap, tap,
“What is wanted? Eve having been true and faithful. . .
“What is that? The first token of the arronic priesthood. Has it a name? It has. Will you give it to me? I will through the veil, Deborah (my new name). What is that? The second token of the aaronic priesthood. Has it a name? It has. Will you give it to me? I will through the veil, the Son. What is that?. . . .”

My nevermo friend started feeling uncomfortable at this point.

But wait! I wasn’t done! There’s still the five points of fellowship! Where you put mouth to ear, hand to back, breast to breast, knee to knee and inside of foot to inside of foot while holding the patriarchal grip and say,

“Health in the navel, marrow in the bone, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout allll eterrnnnittyyy!!!!!!”

“Wow, it really is a cult,” she said as she pulled away from me.

So is it therapeutic and healing to hear, read and speak those cult rituals? Absolutely!

I no longer get sick.

I no longer shake.

And my heart no longer races.

How has the temple ceremony impacted you and how did you deal with it?

Subject: I think there's always the "Religious Rubicon" we have to cross....[edited]
Date: Dec 03 22:48
Author: Shakjula

No matter what religion you're talking about, there's always that one aspect -- whether it be a tradition, belief or practice -- that is the most difficult to speak out on. It can be a small thing, like tossing Garments, or something far more profound, such as dismissing the concept of a Supreme Being. Intellectually you've already dismissed it as fantasy, but when you are faced with actually declaring that X is rubbish and then provide reasons why you believe X is rubbish, that's a whole different ball game, at least in my experience.

In my case, overcoming learned instinctive reactions regarding Catholicism was by far the worst. There were times when, even though I had intellectually banished practically every aspect of the Church, I would find myself actually arguing with people about some piece of theology or Catholic practice, even though I knew I didn't believe any of it. I'd have to say that it was downright unnerving, and I would think to myself, "Why in the hell am I doing this? It's totally pointless!" For example, I had an email conversation with Steve Benson about something or other ages ago, and I felt myself fill with rage when he would say something negative about Catholicism, and this would happen with others as well. In other words, I would get pissed off for Steve and others saying things that I knew were true, but how dare they say them! I would apologize for the intensity, but I think the worst realization is that these attitudes and opinions will have to be actively rejected for some years to come.

I think the same thing can be said of Ex-Mormons, especially regarding the subject of the Temple. As you have shown from your own experience, you don't go from going 120 MPH to a dead stop -- it has to be gradual or you can do some serious damage. Anyway, I believe the best thing people can do in this regard is to be conscious of their reactions and instincts, acknowledge that they're there and they're the product of years and years of conditioning, and that you can overcome them.

Subject: I only went about 15 times
Date: Dec 03 22:52
Author: Tyler
Mail Address:

From taking out my endowments at the Salt Lake temple in 87' till my last session sometime in late 90' I only went about 15 times.

While I have to admit I thought the live show was alright. I truly cannot remember much about it except the actor who played satan. I loved his character, he was the only one with any life, and the only one I enjoyed at all.

As a young hormone budding lad I mostly remember the hot girls in the temple films during the MTC.

I never felt any spirituality in the temple, but I always felt really good that I was doing what was right and advancing towards the celestial kingdom.

However, in retrospect I get a sort of laughter/anger reaction when I contemplate what I did there. It truly is funny if you step back and look at it. Problem is when I step back I see ME doing ritualizing kung fu death slashes on myself and think...hmmm I know it is funny but it doesn't feel real funny that I could believe such a thing.

It is quite humorous, but the humor fades when one realizes that a cult with its fear, manipulation and guilt had you right by the throat in its grasp....oooohhhh I get shivers!

No matter how much I think I have recovered, till the end of my days I will not be able to let go the fact that I gave someone else my spiritual power, that I allowed others to think and tell me what God thought of me. That I allowed others to abuse me mentally and spiritually to further their aims.


Subject: Any Mormon that tries to take my life is going to get lead poisoning
Date: Dec 04 04:59
Author: Bye Bye Morgie

Any Mormon fanatic that tries to cut my throat or spill my guts for showing someone a secret handshake better hope he's got kevlar garmets on. I live in Wyoming and it's perfectly legal here to shoot someone in self defense. LOL!

Why did you shoot him? "I was scared when he came after me with that big sword of Laban, saying he was going to disembowel me for showing the first token of the Melkezedek Priesthood in the caffeteria." Gee Mr. Bishop, you're lucky that underwear stopped the bullet! Did you really chase him with a sword? "Yes I did. He made covenants in the Mormon temple and didn't honor them. We made it clear by divulging the secret sign, he would be killed in such a manner." That's ludicrus Mr. Bishop! Do you have a contract? Did he sign anything? "No. but he wore a robe, an apron, and a Pillsbury Dough Boy hat, while making wierd hand signals and hand shakes in a secret room."

Man you are right sir. It's stupid!

Subject: Re: The LDS church still has a hold on you if . . .(may offend even exmos)
Date: Dec 03 22:59
Author: bnaur

When this occurs you are still feeling excess guilt and shame from their deeply embedded value system. This means you need to analyze your value system and remove their values from your own. Their values will guilt and shame you, a healthy value system will only make you feel guilty when you are actaully harming someone physically or emotionally. We were all shamed into doing what the church wanted us to do and it is a hard thing to get that out of us, embedded for many from youth.

Subject: My new name was Deborah, too. As I read the words to the ceremony in your post, it all came flooding back. 

Subject: Re: The LDS church still has a hold on you if . . .(may offend even exmos)
Date: Dec 03 23:19
Author: jed
Mail Address:

I never went through the temple. I decided that I was not going to until I had the whole "without a doubt" and "every fiber in my being" feelings about the church. Never found it. I'm lucky I guess. I never knew too much about the temple ceremonies, although now when I hear about them - I don't know if I would have been able to go through with it all anyway. Of course - if I had become indoctrinated deep enough I guess I would have. Scary though.

Subject: Hey, I'm Deborah too....and I've finally been very honest with my children
Date: Dec 03 23:28
Author: Merilynn
Mail Address:

When my oldest got married in the temple, I tried to tell her a lot more than I knew when I went through the first time (which wouldn't be hard), but I was still uncomfortable telling her the really bizarre parts, especially the truly bizarro parts that I was subjected to but which she wouldn't have to endure, mainly because of those stupid death oaths I took.

She was still mortified and said later that if she'd really known the whole thing she wouldn't have got married there. She is now totally out of the church.

I decided that I wanted to make sure my son knew every little detail, especially how weird it was before 1990. I learned the art of brainwashing from the masters of the game (the Morg) and I am using it to indoctrinate him on the hideousness of it. We live in Provo so most of the girls he dates are from Mormon families, even if they're inactive. I want him to have ammunition in case he ever gets serious with a Mo girl (god forbid) and she wants to get married in the temple. He needs to be able to make her understand exactly how ridiculous that would be. The more I talk about it now, the more I'm able to laugh about it and not feel the least bit uncomfortable. Rather than see my children enter a mormon temple of doom I'd rather suffer....my life....to be taken.

Subject: I can honestly say Mary Ann...
Date: Dec 04 00:34
Author: TLC

...that mormonism no longer has any hold on me. The temple ritual seems so patently absurd at this point that I look at it like some strange oddity out of my past - much like a girlfriend that I had when I was a teenager, whose name I can barely remember.

Yes, it seems terribly cultish to me and beyond bizarre. But I've let it go and it's like it was someone else going through the motions of disembowlment and throat-slitting.

I always waited in the celestial room for some wonderful and miraculous experience. But that experience never came and I always walked out of the temple with nothing more than I entered it with.

Mormonism always felt like wearing someone else's shoes - there was always that little something that just didn't feel quite right.

For each of us there's an aspect of mormonism that penetrated more deeply. Each of us is then working on freeing ourselves of that sliver that dug beneath the skin and festered. For me it was being told that I was just barely one step above murderers. Compared to that, shaking off the temple experience was a piece of cake.


Subject: a bit of a tangent about the temple experience . . . .
Date: Dec 04 01:20
Author: imaworkinonit
Mail Address:

TLC's post made me remember this.

I always expected some profound spiritual experience or to learn something new at the temple. After all, I think it was David O. McKay (or was it SWK?) that said he learned something new every time he went. I wondered what my problem was that I just didn't ever get anything new out of it. (But couldn't actually admit that there was nothing new to be gotten).

Every time I thought maybe THIS time I'll notice something I didn't before. Or maybe I'll feel the person's presence that I'm doing the work for. Or . . . . . ANYTHING special.

It was usually pretty disappointing, repetitive, and really quite UNprofound. I think it's geared towards about the 1st grade level in terms of needed maturity to understand the movie. I mean it. In fact, my preschooler could probably understand it. And the rest is just rote memorization of signs and tokens, and making promises ("signing" away your time and your money).

What a disappointment. The place built up as the pinnacle of spirituality is just the same old simple movie every time and the same old tokens and promises.

The only thing it had going for it was that I felt better after I went because I had done something I was expected to do (I felt more righteous, instead of guilty for not going). And it was quiet there.

Subject: There is evil there. All of the clues you need about the
Date: Dec 04 03:00
Author: Doug
Mail Address:

the untruthfulness of the gospel are there. How could anyone think the temple ceremony is from God? It is full of weirdness, like evil voodoo and spells from sorcerers, something from an Anne Rice novel.

The worst hell would be getting to heaven and finding the veil and temple workers!! Spooky!!

Subject: I remember in the early days of my breakout from Mormonism . . .
Date: Dec 04 03:23
Author: steve benson

showing the throat slitting sign to a fellow worker in his office.

After that, whenever I would walk past his door, as his personal greeting to me, he would smile and run his hand across his own throat.

It gave me the creeps.

Subject: Guess I was either lucky or smart or both
Date: Dec 04 04:13
Author: momo-nomo
Mail Address:

I quit the morg in my teens after being BIC. So much of the church looked like horse-pucky and magic that it just wasn't believable. So I never got close to going to the temple. Thank you Subomu (supreme being of my understanding) for saving me from the morg and its loony temples.

Subject: Taking out my endowments in the temple made me feel real uneasy.
Date: Dec 04 04:19
Author: Bye Bye Morgie
Mail Address:

What I'm coming out to realize is I never was a True Believing Mormon. I was simply raised Mormon and living the Mormon lifestyle was the house rules. In other words, the church didn't have as much as an effect on me and my family did, but the church had my family by the balls.

I wanted my family to like me. I for the most part liked my family. My dad never spoiled us but was very generous at rewarding you if you did good in school, church, or other things he thought were important. It was a form of bribery and it did work.

I attended college for two semesters, I was not going to church at all when I was at college, nor did I attend any institute functions. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for a career but was lost. Then my bishop at home contacted me. He was my scout leader growing up and consider a good friend and not just a bishop. He suggested going on a mission. I figured maybe getting away from college and doing something else for two years would help me come to a conclusion on two things. 1) Do I want to stay in the Mormon church? 2) Maybe I'll learn more about myself and what I want to do. I spent 2 years in New York as a missionary.

Before going to the MTC, I went through the Idaho Falls temple. It was live sessions then and nobody told me anything about what was going to happen. I knew absolutely nothing going in there.

Well, some old guy hands me some cap looking thing called a shield and tells me to take off my clothes and put this on. Well, I come out naked and all the other guys going through the temple for the first time have their garments on underneath the shield. I felt stupid because I was the only butt naked guy. Then the old cranky old dude tells the others to take off the garments and get naked like me. Four of us are sitting naked on a bench, and one mumbles, "This is interesting". He had no idea in Hell what was going on either. In short, we were washed and anointed. The whole process made me feel uneasy.

The church I had seen growing up, was fun activities, youth leaders and bishops who seemed to truly care about you. A church that wanted you to do well in school, sports, music, and to be morally clean. In short, I thought the rules were there to keep me out of trouble and to help me be the best I could be. But the temple was not what I was raised on. The church was becoming weird and cult like. It had almost a weird, "Now we got you!" feel to it.

In short, the endowment, the signs, tokens, garments, oaths, death threats, while being stuck in a secret fortress of a building made me feel very uneasy. The temple was the biggest mind fuck I had ever experienced.

I contemplated about nixing the whole mission idea and just going back to college. The problem was I was now and endowed temple going mormon. Doing a 180 now would look horrible to friends and family. I never bought the temple bullshit. My first time through, gave me the small gut feeling to stay away but the family and peer pressure was too great. I was not strong enough to pull away.

I'm not so sure it's believing the church in untrue that is needed to leave. It's having the courage to leave. I mean we are talking burning major bridges here. Many people don't leave until they are married in the temple and have a few kids. We've had enough of it and finally pull out when it's more complicated to do than when we were 18.

To leave Mormonism, you need to be independent and very strong willed. It's not easy.

Some people might get the needed therapy by desecrating the sacred symbols of Mormonism. If find the temple and it's associated garbage creepy and mentally exauhsting. I find the less I think about those days the better. I personally just want to put it all behind me.

Subject: For me it is therapeutic to...
Date: Dec 04 04:26
Author: Mr. Happy
Mail Address:

talk about it openly with TBM's. I KNOW they are not supposed to talk about it outside of the temple walls so I try to do as much talking as I can before they can get a word in edge-wise to cut me off. I also love it when they say something like "We can't discuss these things because they are sacred and not to be discussed." Hello...its like they have opened up a floodgate for me when they try to lay the "sacred vs secret" argument on me. I tear them a new one.

A couple weeks ago the missionaries stopped by my place and I brought up how evil the temple experience was. One missionary said it was the most spiritual experience he had ever had in his life. I told him that is because he never had to chant "Pay Lay Ale", slit his throat, or spill his guts. Then I said "And please don't tell me you enjoyed the washing and anointing." They left the house very soon after.

Glad to hear you are recovering from your temple experiences. The only time I was really bothered during the temple ceremony (other than receiving the "sure sign" that it was a cult) was when Satan turned to the camera and said something about "If you don't live up to the covenants made that day in the temple, you would be under his power". The first time I saw that it kind of creeped me out. After that though I remember thinking how cheesy it was and I felt more like telling Satan, "I've got your power hanging right here. Come get some bitch".

Now I am slowly working on my daughter who is planning her temple marriage in the Logan temple in May (hee hee).

Subject: Satan in the temple movie is like Snidely Whiplash...
Date: Dec 04 04:39
Author: Bye Bye Morgie
Mail Address:

In the 1950's, the movie The Blob actually terrified the masses. It didn't take much in movies to scare people. When Gordo B. Hinckley started producting a movie that could be shown in temples in different languages, he used the movie making techniques and acting style of the times.

To simple minded TBM's in the 1960's, having a melodramatic Satan look at you and say if you don't stay true to the covenants you made that day, you ass belongs to him, must have scared the shit out of people.

The Mormon Satan doesn't scare me now. Sh*t Stephen King writes is scary, Mormonism makes me puke, cry, and laugh.

Subject: Re: Temple Affective Disorder
Date: Dec 04 04:50
Author: Stan

I haven't been to the temple in about 3 years, but I remember a lot about it. I was a veil worker for about 4 years.

As a TBM up until a few months ago, I wasn't capable of thinking badly about the temple ceremonies, I was too brainwashed. But after getting out, I must have gone through a lot of healing at once here on the boards and in emails with others who were going through the same thing. It was a horrible first month, always feeling depressed at what I had learned about the church, etc. But then, finally, I was done mourning. I think the last of my mourning came when I posted my "Goodbye to Mormonism" rant. Once I said goodbye, it was gone. No more TAD (Temple Affective Disorder). I'm finally free!!!!

Thanks for your posts, Mary Ann, I appreciate your insights.

Subject: It must not have a hold on me then
Date: Dec 04 07:01
Author: Jackson
Mail Address:

I even repeat this stuff to my inactive kids. In fact, my inactive kid tells me he doesn't want to hear about what goes on in the temple, so he seems to be spooked by it. Maybe if I lived out West with a bunch of Mormons with long knives I'd be worried.

Additional topics on the Mormon Temple
13. Non-Mormon and Garments 15. Temple Divorces
19. Feel Ugly in Temple Clothing? 32. The Changing Temple
33. First Time to the Temple 42. Washing and Annointings
 44. Stopped wearing garments 66. Secret or Sacred?
127 Temple Marriage Ceremony 155  New Names Given in the Temple
165  Not allowed to the Temple Wedding 169  Can Temple Ordinances be Changed?
234  Changing Rules? Temple Marriages 238  She Can't Stand The Temple 
243  Temple Hype Versus Reality  285  First Time to Temple II
288. Protestant Minister Pre-1990 Endowment 293 Excluded from Children's  Wedding


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