Subject: Video on Mormon temple rituals (link)
Date: Jul 04, 2008
Author: Richard Packham

A week or so ago someone asked if there were any re-enactments of the endowment ceremony on Internet video.

A few years ago I was invited to give a talk and demonstration about the Mormon temples and temple rituals to Sam Mikel's monthly "Mormon Outreach" group at her church in Vancouver, Washington. The audience was mostly Christian, with a few ex-Mormons in the crowd. It was a large audience, since Sam had advertised the program with posters and an ad in the local paper.

The demonstration included my wearing the temple robes and giving all the signs, tokens, names and penalties, and the ceremony at the veil.

A videotape was made of the presentation, and it has now been posted on Google, at . It is rather long (75 minutes) and is based largely on my Internet article at

Since the talk was given before the 2005 changes in the washing and anointing, that part is only of historical interest. Another change since the video was made is that I have lost 40 pounds and am much trimmer.


Subject: Excellent
Date: Jul 04 19:00
Author: some girl

Wow... as a woman who left "the church" before ever doing the endowment ceremony, that was crazy to watch. When you were acting that out, was that the actual script that they say? That was so incredibly disturbing...


Subject: Yes, that's the actual script
Date: Jul 04 19:16
Author: Richard Packham

some girl wrote:
> Wow... as a woman who left "the church" before ever doing the endowment ceremony, that was crazy to watch. When you were acting that out, was that the actual script that they say? That was so incredibly disturbing...

Yes, those were the actual words. There were a few places
where I was doing it from memory and slipped a couple of times. The entire script is online:

1990 version:
1980s version:
1930s version:

2005 change in the washing/anointing:

You can listen to a recording of the entire actual soundtrack at

This link is also the entire audio (the link is to just the first segment, but the others are linked in "related videos") - the audio track is in the background, with comments appearing on the screen, and cheerful missionaries in the background:


Subject: Richard, you look ridiculous in that get up.
Date: Jul 04 19:11
Author: Makurosu
Mail Address:

I'm glad I never went to a church that did silly things like that. :^)

Seriously though, the temple costume can make an otherwise dignified person like you look rather foolish. I wonder if it's intentional.


Subject: Imagine an entire roomful!
Date: Jul 04 19:23
Author: Richard Packham

Just think what an entire roomful of people looks like, dressed like that!

My never-mo wife had never seen the temple clothes. When I put them on to make a soon-to-be-released video, and she saw me, she burst out laughing. (Such lack of respect!!)


Subject: I know. I was kidding.
Date: Jul 04 19:28
Author: Makurosu

I've been through the endowment a dozen or so times myself. For some reason, taking the costume out of its native environment really reveals it for the outrageous thing it is. Having bunches of people clothed in that get up, all doing the same things, chanting "pay lay ale" and stuff must have given early leaders of the Church a gigantic rise. You're a brave and hearty soul getting up in front of people dressed like that, Richard. ;-)


Subject: Re: Video on Mormon temple rituals (link)
Date: Jul 04 20:50
Author: blindguy

Excellent job! You are one very talented speaker. You kept my attention, and I learned things I didn't know (such as that the first anointing and endowment for the living are done on the same day). I also realized from your description where biblically the anointing ceremony comes from--the New Testament story (I think it's in John's gospel) where Jesus washes the feet of his Disciples before the Last Supper.

It was definitely an interesting speech.


Subject: Richard, did you feel funny putting those clothes back on? nt


Subject: I think this video should be tied to the "Thinking of Joining?" area.
Date: Jul 04 22:17
Author: My thoughts

That way many investigating people will either save their time early, or they will know what the hell they're getting into before they find themselves in the temple.

Either way, people have a right to make up their own minds regarding what they are going to believe ... but they also have a right to know the facts FIRST, not later.

Mormons don't believe in informed consent.


Subject: Awesome presentation Richard!
Date: Jul 04 22:18
Author: tofino

DW & I watched the whole video. Excellent information here.

Get the word out what people are in for if they get involved in the morg and 'go thru the temple'.

Neither of us did, and man are we glad we didn't.

Thank you Richard Packham & RfM.


Subject: Thanks for the Link and Presentation Richard
Date: Jul 05 19:20
Author: Zeezrom

I understand the Mormon mindset a lot more now and also the prayer circle where my name had been added numerous times most likely for conversion to the LDS church.

I got used to The Bakers Hat after some time and some light chuckling and it does look good on you :)

Up until now I hadn't seen such detail.

Having mostly avoided temple things on the Internet for two years at the request of a supposed close TBM friend I decided it was time as it seems I was being set up and duped from the beginning by her and her false promises to me whilst I was actively investigating the church.


Subject: I cannot believe this is real
Date: Jul 06 01:03
Author: Robert Meyer

My daughter joined up the Mormon church many years ago. I am stunned to find out that this is what she does in the temple. I am hoping this is a big joke that I just do not get, but I am afraid this is really what happens.

I am sad to know that my lovely child that I raised and cared for for so many years actually does these finger signs and penalties thinking she can go to heaven.

What is making me even sadder is to know that she believes that I am not as worthy of being in heaven as she is.

This was an eye opener. How do people not just bust out laughing? This 'ceremony' is ridiculous.


Subject: It's no joke
Date: Jul 06 09:53
Author: Richard Packham

Please note that the "penalties" as described in the video were removed in 1990, so your daughter (unless she got her endowment before then) did not learn those, and would probably deny that they were ever part of the ceremony.


Subject: Re: Video on Mormon temple rituals (link)
Date: Jul 06 01:56
Author: mominaz

Wow! Reading about it is so different then seeing it. I'm glad I wasn't in it long enough to go to the temple. I would have been horrified. To think that all I ever wanted at one point was to have my family sealed together.


Subject: Thank you Richard
Date: Jul 06 04:37
Author: DoubtingThomasina

It is nearly 10 years since I attended the temple. Even when I was super active I had an uncomfortable feeling there and my visits to the temple were few and far between.

I watched the video and read your article too. I always thought the temple clothing and ceremony were wierd. Seeing the performance away from the "magical" staging of the temple just shows how ridiculous it all really is. The photo of the group in the prayer circle looks like something out of Monty Python.

I certainly have no worries about the so called covenants I made there.

Thanks again for all you do.



Subject: Note on the photo of the prayer circle
Date: Jul 06 10:02
Author: Richard Packham

DoubtingThomasina wrote:
> The photo of the group in the prayer circle looks like something out of Monty Python.

I got an indignant e-mail from a Mormon complaining about alleged inaccuracies in my article at He pointed out that the altar in that photo had a red "evil-looking" cushion on top and the base was dark wood. And the room was dark. He felt I was being deceptive by showing something "unlike anything I have ever seen in a temple."

The photo is from Ed Decker's film "The God Makers." And, yes, those aspects of the photo are inaccurate.

I pointed out to him that those were trivial misrepresentations and apologized that I had probably kept hundreds of prospective converts out of the church because they saw that red cushion, and not a white one.

Odd, isn't it, to be accused of deception by a member of one of the most deceptive organizations on the planet.


Subject: Re: "evil looking cushion."
Date: Jul 06 10:36
Author: DoubtingThomasina

That sounds just typical. Swallowing camels and straining on gnats. To be honest I didn't even notice the color of the cushion. It was eclipsed by the awful ceremony that was going on behind it.

But then, don't you think that the temple attracts pernickety people? I was forever being taken to one side because my robe wasn't on right or my bow could look a little neater etc. It made me quite paranoid. I was waiting for someone to say, "now sister, I saw you breathing in a moment ago when you really should have been breathing out." The temple is a genuine heaven on earth for nit-pickers.



Subject: As a nevermo
Date: Jul 06 07:35
Author: Lilith

I've read this board for nine years. I've read the ceremony and looked at pictures of the 'handshakes'. But nothing really brought it all together until watching this video. There is no way I could feel anything 'spiritual' about this game playing. Its so treehouse clubhouse. It made me giggle. Does anyone ever get kicked OUT of the temple? Peer pressure must hold that in check. The hats and aprons break any solemnity for me.

I remember being taken as a young teenager to my uncle's 'oridination? initiation? as some poobah of the masons. I had trouble not laughing then, too.


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