Monday, October 3, 2016

What Happens Inside The Mormon Temple - Part 1

I have continued to get some negative responses for posting about The Mormon Church, and my ideas in general. The church was a really big part of my life, and writing about it helps me move on. If you don’t like what I’m writing about, read something else.

Today I’m going to write about what happens inside The Mormon Temple. I will not share every single detail, but if you are curious after reading this, you can watch videos of what goes on inside the temple, thanks to NewNameNoah. He has a Youtube channel where he has published secretly recorded videos of the things that go on in the temple. They are one hundred percent accurate and really interesting to watch, especially if you have never been to The Mormon Temple before.  

A few different things happen inside the temple. The first thing I want to explain is “work for the dead”. Mormons believe everyone will have the opportunity to become mormon when you die. Unless of course you are like me, and many other exmormons, you don’t get a second chance if you do not repent before you die. After you die in order to get to heaven you need to be baptized, get special underwear, and learn the secret handshakes, but you need a body to do all these things (yes, secret passwords and handshakes, I’m not joking), you also have to be married in the temple. Someone down here on earth with a body will do it for you by proxy (so you can still get to heaven). Growing up this sounded completely normal but now It just sounds like a whole lot of crazy.

Once you have done all the things that happen in the temple for yourself, every time after that you are doing it for some dead person. You can do it for dead family members at least one year after they have died, most the time people use random names the temple has (which they recycle).     

The first, is baptisms for the dead. Anyone who has been baptized, and is older than 12 can participate. It is something the “youth” (church members 12-17) do on a regular basis. Baptisms for the dead can only be done in the temple (your personal baptism can be held anywhere and you must be at least 8). It’s very repetitive and boring and involves being dunked in the baptismal font multiple times in a row. It goes something like this, you’re given a white jumpsuit and underthings then lead to the baptismal font where a “worthy priesthood holder” will baptize you for five to twenty dead people. It’s very repetitive, boring, and pointless. Watch this video of baptisms for the dead filmed with a hidden camera NewNameNoah's YouTube.   

When I was a teen we went on a regular basis. I was so into it that a group of my friends and I would wake up early and go do baptisms before school (I know I was a total molly mormon). I thought the more I went, maybe I would feel those amazing feelings I had felt before in non religious settings, but I never did. That planted the seeds of doubt in me. I didn’t realize I never wanted to be a part of The Mormon Church again, until I realized how much happier I was without it (not including all the research I did about church history, which definitely nailed the lid on the coffin for me).             

The next thing that happens in the temple, is washing and anointings, or initiatories. To be able to do initiatories you need to either have a mission call, be engaged with a temple wedding planned soon, or be older than 18 and your local church leaders have determined you are ready. This is when you get your mormon underwear/garments. Up until 2005 this was done almost naked. You were instructed to take all your clothes, and underwear off and put a “shield” on. The shield was basically a rectangular piece of fabric with a hole for your head. You’re blessed with water, and anointed with oil (which involved naked touching). At the end someone would put your garments on for you. After you have done it for yourself you are “supposed” to do it for the dead by proxy. I know many people who did it once for themselves and never went back until the rules changed.

After 2005 you were told to put your garments on then put the shield on top. The shield was altered, sewn closed on the sides, and a zipper was installed, so it was more like a poncho. When I did my washings and anointings this is how I did it. It was still so weird. Just recently they changed the rules again. Now you wear your temple clothes (a completely white outfit) with your garments underneath, but don’t wear a shield. It confuses me so much as a kid that the rules in The Mormon Church are continually changing. The rules throughout the entire Mormon religion are always changing, not just about the temple either.

Washing and anointings were super boring and I do not remember any details. All I remember is lots of prayers/blessings. You go between four phone booth sized rooms, with doorways connecting eachother covered by curtains. One part of the ceremony happens in each room. When you are doing them for the dead and I remember getting dizzy, because you go around and around. For details about washing and anointings, NewNameNoah has a really good video of them. Washing and anointings are the one thing in the whole Mormon Church where women are allowed to perform anything that requires the priesthood (although it’s not acknowledged, The Mormon Church is very misogynistic).

The next thing is “The Endowment”. The endowment is where you earn the secret handshakes, and sayings to get into heaven. I will be writing a separate post about the endowment because it is so involved.

The last thing that happens in the temple, is marriages. They are called sealings. Mormons believe you have to be married in the temple and sealed, to be able to with your spouse forever. This is also a crucial part of your salvation, if you are not sealed you do not make it to the best part of heaven (mormons believe there are 3 different heavens and in the highest heaven 3 more levels of that heaven, they also believe in hell (but mormons call it outer darkness). That’s where I would be going if I believed in such craziness). Sealings are the ONLY thing in the temple you can do for a dead person if you have not done it for yourself. I never went to a sealing but from what I hear they are pretty boring, and there are more misogynistic promises. NewNameNoah has a video of a sealing.  

Huge thanks to NewNameNoah for secretly filming every inch of the temple, watching his videos was a great refresher for writing this and my next post.

I’m excited to share about “The Endowment” next. I went many times. I am not going to hold back and plan on giving all the details. Thanks for reading!


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  2. As someone who was raised a member in Utah and who has since left the church and moved across the country as well, I find this post incredibly offensive. Obviously I don't know your experiences, and only recently stumbled across this blog, but this comes across as very disrespectful. Although I no longer practice teachings taught in the church (I now have several tattoos and piercings, coffee every morning, and drinks Friday night) but I still believe that religion is sacred. Not in the way it was taught to us, but in the way that it is a vessel that brings people closer to God, Allah, the Universe, or just who they feel they want to be. If it's not doing that for you, it's not doing its job and you should probably look elsewhere. there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    That being said, the things that go on in the temple are very special to a lot of people, and to talk about them with such disgust and distaste is horrifying. Just because I don't believe in the modesty my Muslim friends practice, doesn't mean I would write a post bashing the hijab and Qur'an. Although I love meditating, I don't believe in the many gods of Eastern religion. Would I write about how they must be disgusting, horrible figures who's views are corrupt and abominable? Certainly not.

    Your blog has heen eye opening, but I felt this needed to be addressed. This is the problem with America today - hatred towards those who are different than you. Just something to think about.



    1. I do not hate Mormons. I was indoctrinated as a child, I was baptized when I was eight before I really knew what The Mormon church was or what being a Mormon for life meant. I do not agree with The Mormon Religion, and to be honest everyone else I know who has left the church did not think this post was "offensive". Which makes me wonder if you are who you say you are... I would never bash a religion I do not know, and The Mormon Religion is provably false. I have received an astonishing amount of hate for posting, info about The Mormon Church and, atheist articles. I am far from the first person to post insight about what goes on inside The Mormon Temple. I do not post nasty comments when people share religious articles even if I think they are offensive. I do not believe in god or any deity for that matter. Yes there is a lot of hate in the world, and I believe you are only adding to it.

  3. So because you're not the first to do it, makes it okay? That just doesn't make sense.

    You say "you" had all those things happen to you as if you were the only one. I was also raised in the church, committed to things before I knew what they meant, and suffered a great deal of shame and guilt for doing things that weren't even wrong (so much so that I was taken in an ambulance to the ER because of the severity of a panic attack I had.)

    I certainly don't believe in the Mormon religion, and I don't allow it to dictate my actions, good or bad.

    Part of moving on for me meant leaving it behind. Not living my life in disgust and hatred of the church, as I'd seen so many others do before me. But, to each his own.

    I actually know a great deal about many religions (I'm an International Conflict and Security major and had to study many different cultures and ideologies). All I'm saying is to think about how your words affect people... Both within the church and without. Sure, I make fun of some of the weirder aspects of the church with my friends occasionally, but to publicly ridicule something that many people hold dear is what's spreading hate.

    I'm sorry you feel that I'm the one hating, but that's simply not the case. I feel no animosity towards you - hell I've never even met you. I just think it would be prudent for you to consider the gravity of your actions on an entire population, regardless of whether you believe what they do.

    1. I did not say it was ok because I was not the first to publish statements about The Mormon Church. The pain it has caused me is why I feel the need to write about it. Getting it out helps me move on. This is me coping, and I think that is a perfectly valid reason.

      I am well aware I am not the only person who was raised in The Mormon Church and left it. BUT... the majority of people who have left understand the way I feel in some way, which again makes me question who you really are. You either are still an active member, or someone who hasn't actually parted with the church and left it behind as you claim.

      If you don't like what I have to say don't read it.

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  5. Awesome post! There's no reason why we shouldn't be able to talk about what happens in temples, especially not as Exmormons.


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