Now that Romney is just about to be elected president, several anti-Mormon videos are sweeping the internets. Among them are likely videos that reveal what happens in our most sacred temple ordinances.
Feel free to watch them. Understand the level of dishonesty that was required to obtain them, however. Someone must have been a member of the church in good standing for at least a year. They must have made sacred covenants with God to keep his commandments. They must have lied to several people about their intentions. They must have violated basic rules to not film or reveal key portions of the ceremony. Finally, during the ceremony, they swore an oath to God that they would not reveal certain tokens or signs. And yet, here we are.
If you want to trust such a person to accurately portray mormonism, then you are free to do so. However, to me, such a dishonest person has no reason to be trusted at all. Why would anyone trust someone who takes oaths before God so lightly, or who is willing to deceive so many people?
Regardless, I am going to share with you the “gory” details about what goes on in Mormon temples. I feel now is just as an appropriate time as any.
To put things in perspective, you have to understand how Mormons view the universe.
First, there is a God. He is our loving Father in Heaven. His primary purpose is to prepare us to receive eternal life. Nothing is more important for him.
He provided for us a Savior, Jesus Christ. Under the direction of Jesus Christ, the world was created, and man was place on it. Adam and Eve ate the fruit, and brought sin and death into the world.
However, this was anticipated from the beginning. The very purpose of life is to experience sin and death in this mortal realm. Having experienced that, we are to repent and obey Jesus Christ, who will show us how to get out of the mess we have created for ourselves. Our obedience to Jesus Christ is that we sacrifice ourselves to show love to each other. It is that we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, tend to the sick, and help the sinner and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. This is pretty much the entirety of what we are asked to do, in addition to inward actions such as trusting Jesus and repenting of our sins.
As tokens or signs of our willingness to follow Jesus, we accept the ordinance of baptism. This symbolically washes us from our sins, and symbolically represents a rebirth in God’s kingdom. Then we receive the ordinance of the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost can be our constant companion, helping us know what we should do to follow Jesus’s example on the earth. These are two saving ordinances, meaning, we cannot return to Heavenly Father without receiving them.
The problem is that so many people lived on earth but never received baptism. Many of them never even had a chance to receive baptism. So Jesus provided a way for all those hosts of the dead to be on equal footing with the most righteous of saints. We can be baptized in their behalf in our temples. We can offer them the ordinance of baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, which they are free to receive if they so desire.
Since we believe that free will pre-dates our mortality and exists in eternal realms, then we believe that people can change their minds after death. Even the most hard-hearted and wicked people on the earth can come to accept Jesus Christ as their savior and desire to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Our job is not to try and figure out who was righteous enough or not, but to see to it that everyone has an equal chance to get to heaven.
These are the first of the saving ordinances. There are more. The temple ordinance of the initiatory includes a symbolic washing and anointing of the body. This is to sanctify our bodies and set them apart for the work of salvation. It is a symbolic preparation for our future roles as kings, queens, priests, and priestesses.
Then there is the endowment, the film you have likely seen. Here, we are taught what we already have been taught, the gospel plan. We are reminded where we came from, why we are here, and what we are to do. The sacred oaths we take are promises to obey the Law of Sacrifice, the Law of the Gospel, the Law of Chastity, and the Law of Consecration. In exchange for our individual willingness to obey these commandments, we are given tokens that we can use to show Jesus that we have done what we were required to do. We are not to share these tokens with others: They must produce the faith necessary to obey these covenants on their own.
Having the tokens, we are then able to symbolically enter the Lord’s presence in the Celestial Room. This is a symbol for what we can have if we decide to keep the covenants we have just made.
There is also the ceremony of the sealing. This ceremony serves one purpose: To bind families together eternally. Man and woman are joined into married couples, and children are sealed to their parents. Were it not so, we are told, the whole earth would be smitten with a curse. This ceremony reminds us that while we can individually keep the law of the gospel, it is pointless to be saved alone. Only with our families can we hope to have any measure of eternal happiness.
There are rumored to be other ceremonies, each another symbol. I do not know much about them at this time. I am told that one symbolically represents our unity with Christ, another symbolically represents that we have proven ourselves completely worthy of exaltation. That is all I have heard.
Now, some people see members of the LDS church making covenants and think we are doing something wrong. Let me ask you what you think.
The Law of Sacrifice teaches us that if we want something, we have to pay for it. It teaches us that Christ paid the ultimate price, and if we are willing to receive him into our lives, we can have our sins paid for.
The Law of the Gospel teaches us not to take important things lightly, to treat people with respect, etc…
The Law of Chastity teaches us to be faithful to our spouses, to direct our lusts to building up families.
The Law of Consecration teaches us to sacrifice everything we have to build up the kingdom of God. What is the kingdom of God? That’s the things that God does. What does he do? He does everything he can to elevate people. That’s what we should be doing. The purpose of the church is not church, after all. It is to bring people to Christ, to help them experience the joy and lasting happiness that only Christ can bring us.
I do not see any evil here. I do not know why people try to pretend we are part of some grand conspiracy. If it helps you understand, then yes, I am a part of that conspiracy too. I want nothing more than to absolve you of all guilt and shame, to bring you the same happiness I have. The worst part? I plan on bringing you these things without violating one iota of your free will, or using any compulsion whatsoever. I know, evil, right?
The church has been targeted since day one. We have always had our enemies. That’s the territory we are in. When you make it your life’s mission to overthrow the kingdom of the devil, the devil doesn’t go on vacation.
I feel sorry for people who, seeing something of such immense good in the world, decide the best course of action is to exaggerate and misrepresent our church. I feel especially sorry when people listen to them. Nevertheless, I have trusted the church to the Lord. I don’t intend to lift one finger to hurt these people, except to tell them they are wrong and help bring more truth in the world.
The sad part is that the Lord pays attention to these people, and it never ends well for them. When his patience runs out, or rather, when it becomes clear that they will not repent, he tends to clean up the mess they made and move on with the world. To understand what I mean, name one person who lifted their hand against our church and prospered for it. It simply doesn’t work out that way for them. Every single time our church has had a trial in the court of public opinion, our church has eventually won the day.
Anyway, if you want to learn what our church really believes, we send out 50,000+ missionaries every two years to knock on your door and tell you about it. I want nothing more than for you to experience the temple ordinances for yourself, in the proper state of mind, so you can see and hear and feel what I have seen and heard and felt.