Subject: Was the temple your turning point?
Date: Mar 15, 2008
Author: lightfingerlouie

I can mark the day I began to leave the Mormon church. It was the day I was fully inducted into the church ---in the temple.

I came away horrified, frightened, and unable to get answers. My fear and loathing of the ceremony became worse every time I went. I could not get the doubts out of my mind. I could not believe God's true church would have such a ceremony. I could not believe God would have such a ceremony.

That is when it started.

I wonder how many had serious doubts placed in their mind by that awful ceremony?


Subject: Well, it didn't help
Date: Mar 15 10:44
Author: Vee

Ugh. What a disappointment and a letdown. There is just no way there was anything divine in that at all.

All I can figure is that some people are so highly open to the power of suggestion that just having everyone in the family and ward tell you how "special" it is (instead of admitting their own misgivings), and that this is HF's plan for us is enough to buy it without question. The house of cards on this one will fall more and more if people will just be honest. The endowment ceremony has a poorly written script, despite editing attempts in recent years, and requires the participant to wear a really cruddy costume, thereby adding insult to injury. ;-) If a divine being had anything to do with a secret ceremony, I can only hope it would be something truly enlightening, not to mention more aethetically pleasing. Secret handshakes? Yeah right, that just reeks of the Omnipotent as opposed to, oh say, some parochial inhabitant of the 19th century.


Subject: Re: Well, it didn't help
Date: Mar 15 17:55
Author: AxelDC

My thoughts exactly.

I didn't leave because of the temple, but I found it both creepy and disappointing. I went less and less as time went on, because the main ceremony was just plain boring.

I can't think of a bigger waste of time than watching a poorly made film over and over again, only dressed in funny garb. If I wanted to do that, I'd see a midnight showing of the Rocky Horror Picture.


Subject: Re: Was the temple your turning point?
Date: Mar 15 11:47
Author: confused

I think it was my turning point, because despite what small temple prep my wife and I had, I had no idea just how weird I would feel. In fact afterward I was really worried, and on each occasion to go afterward I always felt uneasy.

I really did like to go for a while, but the nagging feeling just would not go away, even when I was invited to participate as a worker. It was cool, and it was rewarding and I felt like I had achieved something I could be proud of but deep inside I knew that depsite all else, it was very unlikely that the afterlife was going to be anything like that. Nor would there be a ceremony at the pearly gates like the one at the veil.

I was previously aware that the whole notion of secret passwords was related to keeping the 'gentiles' from discovering the inside of the temple, and that originally masons knew each other by secret handshake way back before the rites were invented - work related- so it was readily apparent that the whole thing was symbolic.

But it wasn't until I found out about the previous oaths that I truly began to doubt the reality of the temple. I mean, how holy is that? And how God-like can suffering that your bowels be turned out? Perhaps eternal damnation or some other spiritual punishment, but a physical suffering and death for telling somebody about the House of the Lord?

That was one seed that found very fertile soil.


Subject: Confused, I was HOPING the afterlife wouldn't be anything like that!
Date: Mar 15 12:03
Author: cl2

When I went through, I was just coming out of 18 months of suicidal depression over dealing with the gay issue and the man I was marrying was gay. The temple was secondary. I had a few friends tell me they almost left the church over the temple, so I was expecting something bizarre. I was actually relieved (I have a good imagination and I had built it up to be worse than it was). BUT it was not what I expected, nor was it anything like the mormonism I had been raised in. It was foreign to me.

I didn't think it through. My actions after that show what I really thought of the temple. I did a whole 4 endowments (including my own). I did do sealings once. That was the extent of my temple attendance. I had always determined I would be one of the best temple attenders and I just couldn't go there. Even with all the threats from my ex that I should go. It was a constant source of arguing between us.


Subject: Absolutely and without a doubt.
Date: Mar 15 12:15
Author: Goddess

I could handle refraining from smoking and drinking... I could handle the reverent (boring) services for 3 hours... I talked myself into believing that maybe possibly that could be the true church... But the temple ceremony left me sickened, confused, disgusted, embarrassed. It blew me away and it was the beginning of the end, without a doubt.


Subject: Re: Was the temple your turning point?
Date: Mar 15 12:37
Author: mortified

I went early in the morning (6am) for my first experience. My mother fell asleep for much of it & left me wondering what the heck??? I was mortified! I tried to act cool about it, but didn't go back for years. Even as a TBM I really doubted God would ask us to gorge our bodies for any reason. I just put it on the shelf with all the other screwy doctrines I was taught....aahh, the power of the mind to get in line when it needs to...


Subject: After converting (1964) I waited until I felt 'perfect' enough ...
Date: Mar 15 13:09
Author: apikoros

to go to the 'Holiest Place on Earth' to REALLY find out what God had in store for me. After about a year, I was ready, and went to the temple holding my devotion to the Gospel like a precious offering, only to have the cruelest joke of my life played on me.

The temple ceremony was a third-rate masquerade show, the costumes nothing short of hideous, the theology more Milton and Swedenborg than Biblical, the acting so bad as to be laughable, the atmosphere weird and cultish, the death oaths scary and repulsive. Words truly do fail me to describe my disillusionment. Of course, I blamed myself because that was what I was learning (as a Mormon) to do.

I went back many times, trying to force myself to break through and see the beauty and meaning of it all. It never worked. Each time I attended, I hated it more and more and increasingly understood that it was all totally bogus. Many things contributed to my exit, but the temple really does need to take primacy in causing it. Totally meaningless mumbo-jumbo, ludicrous costuming, fake spirituality and reverence ... I stand all amazed that people keep on falling for it!


Subject: Definitely
Date: Mar 15 13:20
Author: heathcliffrand

Yeah, when I went to the temple it was officially the turning point. I felt so weirded out by the initiatory feel-up, the oaths, and the strangeness of everything.

And when I started researching about the temple more afterwards, I stumbled on to the old blood oaths and that was when I decided to can the church. Since then I have felt zero desire to ever go back.


Subject: Bad memories all around
Date: Mar 15 13:29
Author: picture perfect exmo

Last year, we were on our family vacation and we drove by the temple in which we got sealed (we were still active in the church by then, got out 3 months later). The kids were watching a DVD in the backseat and we talked about our experiences in the temple - that one and others we had visited - and it seemed very odd to us that we only had bad memories:

- the awkwardness that *hangs* over the whole place
- no laughter allowed
- ridiculous clothing rules (mostly invented by the *petticoat brigade*, namely the wife of the reigning TP)
- the ventilation being set ridiculously low (sending everyone except the TP's wife in her midlife-crisis into a frozen state)
- the *3-minute-rule* should you need to *go* during a session
- the awkwardness at the curtain when on the other side *Gods* hearing-aid wasn't on
- the horrible veil and the HILARIOUS cap
- the washings and anointings
- ...

We had had a temple recommend till the day we left, but avoided going there at all costs for some years prior.

And even as TBMs we thought: God, I wish this isn't how the CK is REALLY gonna be like, b/c we certainly wouldn't wanna end up in a place like that!


Subject: No, I was a big KISS fan as a kid....
Date: Mar 15 14:07
Author: Foo Fighter weird, bizzare stuff was sort of cool for me.

But what started me on my way out was the sudden drastic changes in April of 1990. If "God's" ceremony was so perfect, why change it after all those years. It was time to start asking myself what I really believed.


Subject: BULLYING! It was never about my CONVICTIONS, it was always about their CONTROL.
Date: Mar 15 14:12
Author: Still Sick

What was truly going on inside my heart and mind was the very last concern of church leaders, the overriding issue was always my obedience. The word I would finally use to describe the process was: BULLYING!

The church was big and powerful and I was a small cog in one of its wheels. Mormon leaders knew how to push me around and they showed no conscience about it; the great issue was breaking my will. It was as if God needed me to “know my place” and they were my assigned Drill Instructors. Remember Boot Camp - I do.

Years earlier at a stake conference an apostle said the following, “Young women, decide that you are going to marry a returned missionary so these young men will want to go on missions.” I had already felt the pressure to pretend to have a “testimony” so that girls would like me. My arm was being twisted half way off, but I didn’t dare recognize it as intimidation yet. Back then everything had to be my fault (for not having a God-revealed testimony etc.), nothing could ever be the church’s fault; The church’s “perfection” always had to be defended at anyone’s expense, including mine.

The Temple was the final straw. First, the process required (and still requires) you to make a commitment of the greatest social/spiritual magnitude, yet due to the Mormon conceit of divine secrecy, your commitment cannot result from a truly informed choice! As it has been said before on this site: “It’s like being told that you must sign a contract before you will be allowed to read what you are actually agreeing to.” How philosophically and logically fair is that? Is that free will at work? Is our most fundamental relationship with God defined by an irrational and intimidating lie? Hell no - the entire thing was (and is) pure bullying.

Second, there was the severity of everything. I found myself actually taking death oaths. I was enacting the slashing of my own throat! And my own disembowelment! The old (pre-1930?) words would have required me to say that I’d allow my throat to be slashed from ear to ear and my tongue torn out by the root, and also that I would be cut open in the midst and my bowels gush out! Ever see a disembowelment? Watch a pig getting slaughtered. I was raised on a farm. The Pig is hung by its heels and its bowels indeed do “gush out” over its head and, when it’s cold, there’s a cloud of steam that goes up. Pioneer people slaughtered animals regularly, so the old death oaths were easy for them to visualize. Even in my modern day, the idea was hideous enough! [note: the imitating of slashing one's own throat and stomach was removed from the temple ceremony in 1990]

But, like it or not, I was spiritually married to all of this outrage. If I protested, or withdrew my formerly uninformed consent, then by the ceremony’s own secret terms, I would be in “Satan’s power” and all my Mormon friends and family would forever see me as such.

Except that they would no longer see me after death - for God breaks up families from those who don’t conform to the emotional extortion of the Temple Sealing.

Bullying - yet Mormon’s are insulted when people call them a CULT!


Subject: Re: I never
Date: Mar 15 14:33
Author: Hap E. Heretic

took my endowments out, but I ALWAYS heard even the most TBM
types say, with an inscrutable smile on their faces, that the temple ceremony was, well, not what you'd expect.

Yet, it was part and parcel of being a member of the "one, true church", so it was to be experienced and adhered to, strictly and often.

As I've read the posts on this board and done my research into the hidden origins of the LDS church, I've been so relieved I didn't cave in to pressure and get my endowments.

The secret oaths, the regulation underwear, and the obligations are staggering and oppressive, to say the least.
The church messed with my head enough as an uninitiated member.

The temple ceremony would have sent me right over the edge, I'm sure.

Thanks for all the insight, folks! You helped me dodge the biggest bullet of my life!


Subject: Yes!
Date: Mar 15 14:25
Author: Margie

DH and I were sealed in the St. George Temple..we took the "death oaths". When it was all finished and we finally got to be together in the car for the trip home to Hurricane (God, that place is another story), we looked at each other and said "WTF?". He promptly told me his "new name". He told me it was "Jesus". I think he misheard that one.

I think we attended church a few times after our sealing, but shortly moved to CA and then had our names removed.

Even though I was raised Mormon, I was not so much indoctrinated into the religion. I grew up in West Texas and there was just a handful of Mormons in are area so I missed Seminary and all the YW groups.

I really wish I could get the image of DH standing in the temple with that baker's hat on. I did not look much better!


Subject: Ditto
Date: Mar 15 14:26
Author: Mr. Happy

Actually, my first doubts came as a youngster when I first heard about going on a mission. I remember thinking "I don't want to do that!!"

Going through the temple the first time was the CLOSEST I ever came to feeling a "burning in the bosom" or hearing the "still small voice" in my 40 years in the church. I was going through prior to my mission (which I walked off of after 6 weeks in the MTC). During the ceremony while standing with everyone pretending to slit my throat, my mind wandered to being naked under the "shield", to the temple garb that everyone was wearing, and the robotic gestures of having my life "taken". After pondering all of this, and looking around at all the other participants happily drawing their thumbs across their throats, I was "blessed" to have only one thought occupy my mind during the remainder - - "You ARE in a cult!!"

I went back to the temple less than a handful of times over the next 20 years of my church membership.


Subject: Re: Was the temple your turning point?
Date: Mar 15 14:39
Author: NorthIdahoExMo

Yes and No.

I never took out my endowments, but I did the dead dunking several times.

The first time I went, I was so excited. I was told Satan couldn't enter the temple. I was very excited to experience life without Satan.

I remember entering and waiting and all that and still being annoyed at the YM in my youth group. I was hoping to feel complete peace, but I felt the exact same as I had for the past 6 hours in the car. A few girls acted VERY irreverently in the dressing room - running around and laughing and stuff.

I was a little disillusioned. Why were my thoughts still "bad" and these girls acting "bad" if Satan couldn't enter??

Of course, I didn't dare talk about it with anyone. . .

I was actually afraid of taking out my endowments. I was afraid of having to wear garments. I saw how ridiculous my family members looked and how dowdy so many members looked in them. I never had a testimonkey of modesty, I guess. . .

The regulation underwear always creeped me out.


Subject: The worst day of my life.
Date: Mar 15 14:59
Author: forestpal

That was because the RM I married in the temple, or his GA family, had not revealed to any of us his anger problems. Even though the marriage was under false pretenses, and the County granted me an uncontested civil divorce from him, on the grounds of extreme physical cruelty, the mormon church NEVER would grant me a cancellation of sealing, after I had tried for many years. I would forever be a divorced woman in the mormon church--an entirely different experience. Though I always tried to be a perfect mormon, and was moral, obedient, served well in all my callings--I was still a divorcee.

But, on the subject of the ceremony alone, I went through the temple in the days of the blood oaths. I was a true believer back then, and I truly believed I felt the presence of evil in the temple. Anyway, my revulsion bordered on fear. Were these creepy women touching me, wearing bathrobes and slippers and nametags, assertively hurrying me along, and hissing at me in whispers--were these mormons?

I was upset about the marriage--I had put aside my strong premonition that I should not marry this person, as merely wedding jitters--and getting up at 5:00 am for the long drive, and my body was rebelling. I remember that 3-minute rule for breaks, and the scoldings from the women each time I had to leave, and their refusal to let me sit in an aisle seat, to get any preferential treatment.

You'll probably think I am crazy, but last Thursday night, before we went for pizza, a few close friends and I had our own temple ceremony, for the purpose of cancelling my sealing to my wife-beater ex, and also to cancel any mormon sealing-of-record of my children to this horrible stranger they had never met, who was not their blood father. We used the temple script I got off RFM, but reversed the wording, to undo it. I planned it to be as temple-like as possible, with my windows covered, and an altar. The proxy and I wore our temple clothes. My cousin's short little talk before the ceremony was very nice, and expressed our positive views of life, love, respect, and God. A few times, we did burst out laughing, and we totally wierded out the pets. (Animals can really sense weird behavior in humans.) This was a very therapeutic 8 minutes.

This little ritual really underscored the fact that the temple mumbo-jumbo is just man-invented nonsense. Anybody can have a ceremony and wear whatever regalia they feel like, and say that evil is good, there are Quakers on the moon, Kolob really exists, and there is polygamy in Heaven--but it does not make it true. The temple workers are self-ordained by a cult, and nothing more. They just have a fancy expensive building and a gold font with oxen statues holding it up. (Isn't an ox a Satanic symbol?)

Maybe people shouldn't feel so bad about missing family temple marriages. IMO, the only true thing about the temple marriage ceremony is the marriage license! Those words are actually the couple's covenant to the cult. In fact, my "sealer" added into the words that I was covenanting to pay for the pizza.

My un-sealing was just as real as my sealing was.


Subject: Oh yes! Most definitley.
Date: Mar 16 00:32
Author: another exmo

The first time I went through was on my wedding day. Dh was a convert, and it was his first time going through also. We took temple prep classes which did not prepare us at all.

The whole temple experience freaked us out! There was nothing spiritual about it. My parents were TBM's and wore garments so I knew we would have to wear them after going through the temple. No one could have prepared me for the washing and annointing...and the fact that two old ladies were going to put my new garments on me (like I wasn't capable of putting on my own underwear!).

Everything felt wrong. The men on one side, women on the other, doing weird hand gestures, and the bizzare clothing! When they asked if anyone wanted to leave I almost got up and ran, but I had waited SO long to marry in the temple ("the right way") that I decided surely the worst was through. I kept my mind occupied with other things because I didn't want to remember what I was going through in the temple. I mouthed the words without actually saying them, making note to "God" that he couldn't hold me to promises that were seemingly forced.

I kept my thoughts on the Celestial Room, as I heard that even if you don't feel the "Spirit" anywhere else in the temple, it is overpowering in that room. Snooze! It was like sitting in a funeral parlor. Everyone kept asking, "Wasn't it wonderful? Did you feel the spirit? I bet you just can't wait to come back to do it again!" Ummm, No.

We went to the sealing room--finally! We were going to be married! (Imagine how upset I was when they told me afterwards that we were legally married as soon as we walked into the place when they made us sign papers. Clever they never told us beforehand. I firmly believe they would have ripped up our wedding certificate had we jolted from the ceremony.)

As we were kneeling at the alter, I looked into my fiance's face--I've never seen him so pale. He looked like he was going to be sick. I knew he was having the same feelings I was. I couldn't control myself. This was my wedding day. This traumatic, bizzare day...MY wedding day! I started laughing--hard. Tears were streaming down my face and my body was shaking as the old guy officiating was giving us advice (mainly how I was to obey my husband in his righteousness). I got a lot of stern looks of disapproval which only made me laugh more. What's worse than seeing yourself & spouse dressed up in that awful temple garb? ...Seeing it in those double mirrors where it just goes on forever!

When it was over, they made us change clothes in the same room--in the temple!--but they told us to remember that we were to refrain from intimacy in these sacred walls. As if! We wanted out of there as fast as possible.

On the three hour drive home, we never spoke a word. Dh wouldn't even look at me. I think he was seriously considering leaving me. He thought that since I had been a member my whole life that I had to have known what went on in the temple. When he realized that I had NO CLUE and was as freaked as he was, he got over it. I completely understood his feelings...I would have felt the same way if the roles were reversed. We agreed NEVER to go back. YEARS later I finally came to my senses and told him I wanted out of the church. It was only then that he confided he only joined to marry me.

The temple was the beginning of the end for me. Too bad they finally took out the "naked touching." I think it would have turned a lot more people away.


Subject: Re: Oh yes! Most definitely.
Date: Mar 16 04:00
Author: forestpal

Thank you for your interesting story--how awful. I'm so glad you and your husband survived the ordeal without it splitting you two apart. Good thing you wised up, huh. He must have loved you very much to join a cult for you.

I can't believe they had you and your brand new husband change clothes in the same room. ??? A bride might want some preparation or something, before having him view her in that awful, ugly underwear. I never let my husband see me in it, out of vanity, I guess, and I cringe when I remember the sight of him in his garments.

My mother burst out laughing at her temple marriage, too, when she saw my father in his baker's hat with the tassel. Also my niece and her husband agreed in the hallway that they could not look at each other in their outfits, or they might lose it. The temple workers had put a dickey and big long sleeves on her, over her wedding dress, and she had to wrestle with the material to get the hand grip just perfect. At the altar, the officiator had to tell them to look at each other, and the two of them started to snicker. I loved it!

Tell me, did they have you sign the wedding license before or after the altar ceremony? Where? In an office somewhere?


Subject: In a way, you could say it was...
Date: Mar 16 00:56
Author: starbright

The first public doubt to Loke was how Peter could shake Adam's hand, since the D&C said if he was a righteous spirit he would have to stand there, unmoving.

It never occurred to her that what was represented and scripture was contradictory to each other.


Subject: I was certain that my "problem" was entirely my own fault.
Date: Mar 16 01:18
Author: JoAnn

I knew a lady who had been a member for most of her life but refused to go to the temple, as she was sure it could not live up to its billing as a supremely spiritual experience.

She was right.

I was shocked at how creepy (not to mention boring) it was. How could anybody feel "inspired" by such bizarre stuff? I thought that the playlet was stupid and the fooling around with the assigned outfit was incomprehensible.

And then the Q & A thing at the curtain was infuriating. I paid super-close attention to this part, and was pretty sure I could give the answers without help, but they told me to just repeat the answers after some old geezer who was standing there. I told him no, I wanted to try it on my own. He insisted that I repeat it after him. I didn't back down until the friend who was "escorting" me whispered that I should not argue with the temple worker.

All in all, I thought it was pretty lame but was certain that it was because of a lack of spiritual understanding on my part. It had to be my fault, didn't it?

I didn't realize until I found RfM that many other people were weirded out by it, too.


Subject: Re: Was the temple your turning point?
Date: Mar 16 01:58
Author: shelly

absolutely was. was the first time I seriously considered that this whole thing was just a hoax


Subject: Yeah. I always felt the church tipped it's poker hand the day I took my endowments out.
Date: Mar 16 06:33
Author: Rubicon

The church handles it's youth the same way it does potential converts. They are super nice to you and thinking constantly about you. Then the day comes that they just flat out tell you, everything you are and own is theirs. Of course they use peer pressure in a public setting to get you to bow your head and say "YES" to things you normally would tell the person to go to hell over.

Basically I felt I needed to get out of the organization then but unfortunately did not want the embarrassment of canceling my mission call and dealing with all that crap. I should have though. I left the mission on my own will a year later.

Related 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 Anointings

 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

301 Speaking Publicly about the Temple

306 Temples are Running out of Names

331 The Temple Endowment not Changed per Apologist

339 Temple Marriage vs. Traditional

359 Canceling a Temple Sealing

366 Naked Touching in the Temple?

371 Young Women Dress up in Mother's Temple Wedding Gown

382 Excluded from Children's Mormon Temple Wedding II

474.  My Mother Denies Making Motions of Slitting her Throat in the Temple Prior to 1990

475.  My Father had to Pay $4000 to the Church to Attend My Wedding

478.  Mormon Doctrine:  Women Must Wear Bras over Garments?

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507.  Women Write about their Temple Weddings  


Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

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