Posted by: fifteensixty ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:15AM


Did any of you go through the temple ceremonies where you had to take off everything and then put on this gaping shield. Then all these old ladies gathered around and touched you. Followed by the throat and cut slashing exercise and then there was minister with Satan teaching, "the philosophies of men mingled with scripture". Am I the only dinosaur that remembers this?

[Admin note:  This was in the Mormon temple ceremony prior to 1990.  The ceremony changed in 1990.]


Posted by: thedrive ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:26AM


Been there. Done that. Have the journal entry to prove it.


Posted by: nomormor ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:31AM


Glad I didn't go through the temple back then I would have freaked out.


Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 07:56AM


Did all that and YES, it was freaky.

Two weeks before my wedding, I drive 3 hrs. to the L.A. temple with my parents for the marvelous and wunerful temple experience. I remember the relief of finally sitting in my parents van and heading home when it was finally over. I was trying to act normal, trying to hold the tears back and just trying not to think about it, hoping somehow almightygawd would help me figure it out later.

We hadn't gone very far on the way home when my mom turns to me and says, "Well, how do you feel?" What was I supposed to say. My head was screaming "THAT was IT? THAT was what I waited for my whole life? And this is the church that makes fun of the Catholics for their rituals????" All I could say is "I'm really tired." I went through endowment ceremonies about 5 more times, but mostly kept my recommend active so I could go to weddings. I gave up long before they ever changed the ceremony, because I always had a creepy, evil feeling whenever I'd go in there and, of course, I thought it was ME. No, it wasn't. It was a creepy evil place.


Posted by: fifteensixty ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:31AM


Ok, thanks I wasn't reliving a nightmare. Did you think that the touching was too close for comfort? When I mentioned it to a friend my own age she practically collapsed as it was totally a secret etc etc. Did any of you discuss it outside the big house?


Posted by: tawanda2011 ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:32AM


We just could not believe what was happening when we went thru SLC, Manti and IFalls temple in 1970's!! Even though I was active many years after, I never believed or understood anything about the temple. And, I never took the oaths supposed consequences seriously because the oaths were done w/o having any prior info or explanation. It is sick and crazy!! I view the washing and anointing as very close to sexual exploitation. They are sick bastards and tscc [this so called church] should be acknowledged as a major cult and not a church


Posted by: deb ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:35AM


That is awful Makes your stomach churn......... how did you stand it??????


Posted by: nomormor ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:36AM


I talked to my brother about it a few months ago actuality, he had totally forgot about it, he was freaked out by the whole temple thing anyway.. that was just one of many things.

We joked about how a few of those old men probably did more then a touch of oil.


Posted by: fifteensixty ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:54AM


Did the same once, as they made us the witness couple. Fainted and they asked was anything wrong. Being intimidated and afraid I said I had been dieting. The five points of fellowship also spun me out, when you had to put hip to hip, and after that I go into a room and everybody is running around saying isnt this wonderful. Then when it wasn't wonderful for me I KNEW it must have been MY fault. Did you voice your opinion to anyone about the fact it was not WONDERFUL and get the same treatment, OH IT MUST BE YOU, (not worthy)?


Posted by: DebbiePA ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:01AM


I had just the opposite feeling, actually. Like the Emperor's New Clothes, I kept thinking, "Surely somebody besides me realizes this is a load of crap?" I felt stupid for getting all excited that I was going to receive some deep spiritual revelation, as was promised. It was just a dumb movie, a lot of changing clothes, and secret handshakes.


Posted by: deb ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:03AM


So, male and female go through the "secret handshake" What does the "handshake" stand for anyways??


Posted by: Steve ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:05AM


Gas from Albuquerque to SLC, 58 dollars.
Food on the trip, 28 dollars.
New suit, 125 dollars.
Getting your ball sac groped by an 80 year old man in the temple? Priceless

Posted by: Goofy ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:24AM



Totally creeped out and disappointed.

For me the worst part was mimicking slashing the throat, cutting open your chest, and cutting open your bowels. Totally creepy!

That will do!!


Posted by: deb ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:26AM


you have got to be kidding!!!!!!! creepy...... what's the secret ha/s supposed to stand for.


Posted by: Goofy ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:32AM


Secret handshakes were totally a rip-off of the masons. I believe the purpose at the time was for a secret society (i.e., masons or mormon polygamists) to know who was in on the secret (polygamy).

They teach you that you have to know these handshakes to get into heaven, and that when you go before the veil you have to give these handshakes to "the Lord" or some gatekeeper before you can enter heaven, or go through the veil.

Totally a secret society thing, stolen by Smith, and re-worked into his own religious/secrety society thing - protecting the secret of polygamy.

In fact if you read much of the D&C a lot of it is masonic type phrasing.


Posted by: becca ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:34AM


I didn't mind that washing thing so much.. actually I thought the lady tried to be quite discrete. But then again, the whole thing was a bit of a blurr...I was nervous, scared and felt very unworthy... so I wasn't thinking straight...

I did think that hip to hip thing at the veil was weird.... having dealt with some abuse in childhood I felt very uncomfortable being held like that by a strange man...

The whole thing is weird... there's no two ways about it... it's just weird.


Posted by: deb ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:38AM


Posted by: fifteensixty ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:39AM


Did any of you see a mason meeting with the compass and square and get the connection to your garments? Been out now since 2006 but everytime I pass a masonic hall and see it I want to gasp for air. When I see my sons wearing their G's I feel ill that I started it all. Fortunately my girls and their families have all exited but the boys just label me a "Mormon Basher". With an honours in history you think you would get some credibility for your research?


Posted by: Goofy ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:40AM


For me it was a "rite of passage" thing. I felt like I was finally a grown up, like the rest of my brothers and sisters I had finally been to the temple.

But I was so disappointed. I had gone to the temple that day expecting to learn the secrets and mysteries of God and the heavens. And all I learned were some secret handshakes, signs, and a few ways to kill myself if I spilled the beans.


Posted by: ExMormonRon ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 08:01AM


Been there, done that, except it was old geezers rubbing oil on my neathers and thithers. I slashed, disembowled and ripped my heart out 100's of times. :)



Posted by: Crathes ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 10:38AM


First time in 1978. Yes, the lubing of the loins, slashing of the body. Ugh.

Once while in the LTM (MTC for you youngins'), the old geezed with the wicked breath kept hittin' my tool. I wanted to tell him to back off. Hummed a song instead, and it was not "Hold to the Rod."


Posted by: Truthseeker ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 10:41AM


January 5th 1990, just before I went to the MTC I had to promise to slit my throat and disembowel myself. It was a great way to start off the worst two years of my life.


Posted by: unworthy ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 10:42AM


I feel so left out. Never got to experience all the wonderful things of being a true mormon.


Posted by: deb ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:08PM


Thankful, I decided not to go through w/becoming of the LDS faith.


Posted by: Flying Under the Radar ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 11:28AM


I went through the temple in 1988. Creepy, disappointing, and I can't even imagine what it was like when you had verbage that went along with the throat slashing. I only went twice but that was 2 times too many. There was one comedic moment, when the old guy was giving me my new name (Isaac), he acted as if he was getting revelation from on high. I almost burst out laughing because all I could think of is "there are x number of people coming through the temple, god isn't giving us all our own new name."

secret new name, throat slashing, naked touching, the whole thing is secret, why would anyone call it a cult?


Posted by: Mormon Observer ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 11:41AM


Yes, in 1976. We did the acting out of the death by dis-embowlment, throat slashing, etc. Also the minister was hired by Satan to preach "precepts of man mingled with scripture". Then wanted to get paid, but hadn't converted Adam and Eve.....We needed secret handshakes to get into heaven... and secret words and etc.

None of us were told what we were promising to do until long after we'd been told we could leave if we wanted to.

It felt strange saying Pay Lay Ale while moving our hands up and down in a group, and the men looked so weird in their bakers hats with the bows that 'tied under the right ear'.

I didn't like standing so close at the 'five points of fellowship' at the veil. Breath mints do not make up for poor or non existent dental hygiene.

So much I could put aside on the shelf. I didn't even know I had a shelf!!!! Maybe I just piled those things on the floor (what bothered me about Mo'ism) and just stepped around them....


Posted by: Sandie ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:44PM


Why is it that the old geezers behind the veil ALWAYS had BO, bad breath, and a cold?"

I did the slash-if-you-tell bulloney cult stuff. I'm not sure what creeped me out more: The death oaths or the little old ladies peering under the sheet while getting felt up during the oil and lube job.

A LOT of wacky, weird sh*t went on in the temples back then.


Posted by: Makurosu ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 11:49AM


Talk about the seedy underbelly. There was no warning and no debriefing. I think the experience made me angry with my parents, leaders and even non-member friends whom I felt had failed and betrayed me. I never really got over that anger.


Posted by: Lucky ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:30PM


with ABC & That 70's show to lighten things up


Posted by: Satan ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 12:35PM



Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:49PM


It was a shock and a surprise as the church does not prepare you for any of it. But that's typical of religious rituals. The initiate is not totally informed. That's true for religious rituals in general.

I went along with it, even though I was uncomfortable, because that is what the rest of the people were doing and it was a long time custom, and tradition. It was strange, and weird, but that's the point, I think!
Initially, I refused to go back, but because I wanted to be a participating member of my new "tribe" I went back again and again.

For me, it was an escape from my regular life. We drove several hours, got out of town, left the kids with sitters. It was in a quiet place (no kids, no phones, no interruptions) and I could concentrate on my own spiritual life at that time and meditate. The rituals were rote exercises that basically, kept me awake! :-)

Once in the temple, it's really hard to get out before the ceremonies are finished. It's not impossible, I've seen it done, but it's not common.

As I look back, I find I was like the rest of the members attending: going along with what I thought was expected of me as a member of the LDS Church; doing the rituals/ceremonies/and making covenants.

I also had several experiences with very odd/strange behaviors from some of the members in the temple over the years: funny, weird, strange! Ran into some of the most peculiar people there! Talk about kooks! I think they find their way into the temple and stay there! :-)

It wasn't until much later that I realized that the rituals/ceremonies/covenants really held no power over me unless I believed they did. I stopped believing in the necessity for the traditional rituals, and they lost all meaning for me.

That was then, this is now. I have no need or desire for religious rituals/traditions/ceremonies. I am happy being an observer from time to time.


Posted by: maria ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:52PM


'But that's typical of religious rituals. The initiate is not totally informed. That's true for religious rituals in general."

That's not true. Ask any Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, etc. what their rituals are, and they will straight up tell you.

My Catholic SIL spent 15 minutes explaining Lent, Ash Wednesday, Easter, etc. to me. None of it involved "sacred" ordinances and rituals.


Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:24PM


maria Wrote:
> 'But that's typical of religious rituals. The
> initiate is not totally informed. That's true for
> religious rituals in general."
> That's not true. Ask any Catholic, Methodist,
> Baptist, etc. what their rituals are, and they
> will straight up tell you.
> My Catholic SIL spent 15 minutes explaining Lent,
> Ash Wednesday, Easter, etc. to me. None of it
> involved "sacred" ordinances and rituals.

Notice I used qualifiers: typical, not totally informed. Certainly, some don't fit that category.
All religious ceremonies are considered sacred on some level to the believers.


Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 01:54PM


Unfortunately, I took out my Endowments in 1989, so I had to endure all that stuff. I wanted to bolt for the door, but I was afraid they wouldn't let me out. I was so scared and freaked out, but I looked around and no one else seemed to be scared.

People told me that I was just glowing after my Endowment session. I probably was, but because I was so happy and relieved to get out of there!

When they changed the Endowment ceremonies, and I went through the temple again about a year later, I was confused, and yet so relieved that the scary stuff wasn't in there anymore. I figured maybe it only happened when you went through for yourself the first time.

I didn't realize they'd actually changed the Endowment Ceremony.

[Admin note:  This was in the Mormon temple ceremony prior to 1990.  The ceremony changed in 1990.]


Posted by: longtimegone ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:18PM


I had the great, good fortune to slide through the temple doors under-the-wire and just in time to enjoy the throat-slashing, bowel-gashing fun--once. Good times!

It was end-of-August, first-of-September 1989, and it was so meaningful to me, that's as close to remembering the date as I can get. My new name is Rachel (from reading some of the other temple names here, I lucked out on that one), and I was horrified by the penalties.

I have always had a strong aversion to knives so much so that it makes me woozy to think about knife wounds. I was delighted to get to pretend to take a knife and slash my own throat and disembowel myself. At least they didn't make us pantomime cutting our own tongues out.

I went from trying not to laugh at how goofy the men (including my handsome, soon-to-be husband) looked in the Chef-Boyardee-f*&#$d-the-Pillsbury-Dough-Boy-and-all-I-got-was-this-lousy-temple-hat outfit to thinking "This is it? This is the glorious temple experience they promised me?" to thinking "WTFWTMF?" to trying to stop the visuals on auto-loop in my brain of a roomful of people with their throats cut and their innards toppling onto the floor.

The washing-and-anointing temple-poncho experience was creepy but paled in comparison to the above mentioned sequence.

After that, every time I heard the primary kids sing "I Love to See The Temple," I had a flashback.


Posted by: flash ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:32PM


While I was going through the bizarre experience of my first endowment session just before my mission, here are the questions that kept popping into my mind:

Why is this old man with PolyGrip breath touching me under my togo?

Why am I learning secret combinations and handshakes while dressed up as the Pillsbury Doughboy?
Was not secret combinations forbidden by the Lord?

There is a true order of prayer?
You mean in church we are using a false order of prayer?

I am promising to slit my throat or disembowel myself?

Oh God, that old man in front of me just passed gas and my eyes are watering.

Satan is the best character in this incredibly boring movie so where are the spiritual experiences testifying that the Church was true?

Where are the angels?

Where is the burning in my bosom?

Where’s the Holy Ghost to confirm my faith?

Where's the exit?


Posted by: prof ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:41PM


Had a student in my office yesterday, thinking her way out of the church. She hated the temple ceremony. Didn't know it used to be worse.
When I told her about the pantomimed self mutilation, the color drained from her face.


Posted by: nickerickson ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:46PM


I didn't have to promise "blood atonement" when I went through.

I do remember going through and thinking "this is the best experience ever........ because I was always told it would be."

I remember going the second time and thinking "okay, when is the great epiphany going to happen, when does the spirit fill me with..... something?"

I remember my third and last time thinking "WTF is wrong with me? If I want a secret handshake, I can join the Masons and not have the guilt to go with it."


Posted by: trufflelily ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:55PM


I went through in 1966, and thought it was the most bizarre thing I had ever experienced. It sort of felt like being molested--a secret that could not be shared--not because it was sacred--just mortally abnormal. I attended one more session in 1986, again came out feeling it was absolutely bizarre. Since shortly after that time I have been completely out of the church. I ask myself how I ever got mixed up in it. The things we do when we are needy. . .


Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 02:58PM


BUT I had a lot of the thoughts others had--like "rituals" and I about fell out of my chair when they said "sexual intercourse." Didn't seem to fit in either--just out of the blue promising to not have sexual intercourse with anyone but our spouse.

BUT the thing I DO KNOW is if I hadn't made it to the temple, I never could have left the church. I would have always thought they had some great knowledge that I had missed out on. Once I knew what went on in there--didn't seem like I was in the church I had been raised in--and it was much easier to question even more than I already had been.


Posted by: Greyfort ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 03:02PM


Can you believe that we paid 10% of our gross incomes, plus fast offerings, to go through those bizarre rituals?

Sometimes I wonder if those at the top are getting a good laugh at our expense.


Posted by: NormaRae ( )
Date: April 01, 2011 03:14PM


And yes, now I get a really good laugh at all the people who go through the temple and say, "oh, isn't it so spiritual." They are exactly the same as the people who look at the naked emperor and say, "aren't those fine robes of silk and velvet." And yes, I was one who at least tried real hard to see clothes on the emperor. Yup, instead of spending money on disposable diapers and desitin for my babies, I spent it to go to the holy house of handshakes and pantomime my own violent demise (as Martha Beck so aptly puts it), and you can't tell me that the kings at the top aren't laughing all the way to the bank.


Posted by: get her done ( )
Date: April 03, 2011 11:58AM


I was there, it is all true.


Posted by: kimball ( )
Date: April 03, 2011 12:25PM


I went through in 2001, so I missed out on the gory stuff. But I did get the shield with the open sides for a few years.

I'm a man, and as such I remember a particular instance doing initiatories back when they still actually put the garment on you at the end of each one. (Today you just keep the garments on the whole time). The old guy putting the garment on me seemed insistent to pull it up as far as it would go, to make sure it was on all the way I guess. I dreaded the scrotum hammering at the end of each initiatory in that session.


Related Mormon Temple Topics

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?

 503.   A non-Mormon Mother unable to attend her daughter's temple wedding

507.  Women Write about their Temple Weddings 523.  Was the Temple a Turning Point in Your Believing in Mormonism?
533.  Video on the Mormon Temple Rituals 514.  Summary of the Mormon Temple
550  Benson:  Ground Zero in My Unbelief in Mormonism - the Temple 564.  Did the temple ceremony help you leave the Mormon church?
570.  The Making of the Mormon Temple Film 572.  Mormon Temple Ceremony and HBO Big Love Comments
573.  A non-Mormon Comments on a non-Temple Wedding 580.  Did You Really Believe You Needed the Secret Handshakes?
607.  Death Penalties in the pre-1990 Temple Ceremonies are Denied by Older Mormons  

Recovery from Mormonism - The Mormon Church

Listing of additional short Topics  |  Main Page