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My Temple Experience, part 3

Posted by nebula0 on August 27, 2008


Warning: this section of my story, in particular, will most likely be offensive to any believing Mormon.  While it is not my intention to make Mormons feel unwelcome at my site, I nonetheless feel that sharing my temple story is an important endeavour- hence the warning.

If you need to catch up on the story, parts 1 and 2 are filed under the “My Experiences” category.

When I left off with part 2, I had just been through the initiatories- washed (touched with water), anointed (touched with oil) and received my garments, all in an out of the way corner of the dressing room.  Next I am led to yet another little booth, this time leading out of the dressing room.  It is here that I receive my new name.  A middle aged woman in a long white dress awaits me in the little booth, piece of chalk in hand by a small chaulk board mounted to the wall and reveals to my name: Rhoda.  Not bad I think.  It’s fairly commonly known that the names are chosen to be the same that day for every male and every female (for record keeping purposes, naturally), and I figure I lucked out, I like the name.

Next I’m led to another little room, this time with maybe 8 chairs lined up in a row, where I see the middle aged woman I encountered during the initiatories sitting, back in her long, white dress.  I sit down and an older lady begins to instruct us concerning our garments.  Do not dye them, she says.  Your days of blithely tossing your underwear into the hamper are over, from now on you should keep two stacks of neatly folded underwear, clean and unclean, respect your garments (advice I did not follow).  If you need to dispose of them, cut out the symbols first, and destroy them.  Then, dispose of the garments however you want because without the the symbols they are not holy garments.  She reads the First Presidency message about the garments, about wearing them night and day, and how it is up to the person if there are circumstances which warrant not wearing them.

Next we are led up the escalators to the top floor of the temple.  The hallways line the outer rim, and all of the windows are covered.  The whole thing is carpeted.  At the top we are led to the endowment room.  Normally, a participant waits in the chapel listening to recorded organ music for an endowment session to begin, but as we were running late we went straight to the endowment room.  The room seemed like it could seat a hundred people.  There were rows of movie theater style seating with a spacious passageway dividing the room into two.  I soon learned that women all sat on the left, and men all sat on the right.  Up from was a lectern, and a male temple worker in an all white suit standing up front.  On the left, facing the main seating were a couple of seats occupied by female temple workers, similarly a couple of men on the right for the men.  I was led to the front row where my companion was seated waiting.

Once everyone filed in and the doors were shut I had expected for the man up front to begin speaking.  Instead he began a recording of a man welcoming us to the endowment ceremony.  We were asked if everyone had received our new names, and if anything in the initiatories was lacking we were to raise our hands.  Nope, I was good there.  Next he said that if anyone of us felt like we couldn’t go through with the ceremony, now was the time to please stand.  It was now or never, I figured.

The lights dim, and a screen lowers up front.  The projector gets going and we’re treated to the story of the creation.  There are two versions of the temple movie that I’ve seen but they’re both pretty much the same.  It starts out with unformed matter, which ends up being asteroids in space, and Elohim (Heavenly Father) says to Jehovah (Christ) and Michael (the future Adam) “let us go down and form x, y and z” so they form the earth, waters and dry land… all up until the man is formed.  We’re treated to actually see these gods, and they look an awful lot like you’d imagine Greek gods on Olympus to be, they’re out by Kolob I suppose, wearing white robes, and they have big white beards.  The background makes it look like they’re in a Greek temple floating around outer space.  As they’re creating things, we see snap shots of various places on the earth denoting the focus of whatever they are forming, shots of the ocean, rivers, animals, you get the idea.  Anyway, once Adam is formed (the past Michael) the story changes somewhat as now the action is focused on the two humans.  Once they form Eve out of Adam’s rib, the men have to stand up to symbolize Adam receiving her.

The implication is that Adam and Eve are naked 20 somethings, though obviously we don’t actually see any of their private parts.  They run around and look at this lush garden, Eden, and all seems to be doing well, until Satan comes along.  Satan is dressed in dark robes, and has silver hair and is clean shaven.  He tries to tempt Adam first, to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and Adam refuses.  He tempts Eve first, and wins her over.  She then gets Adam to eat after “he sees that this might be, so that men may be” since he realizes that if Eve gets kicked out they won’t be able to procreate.

And… It looks like I need to make a part 4.  Sorry about that, but I hate to have these posts run so  long.  Any questions so far?  Feel free to comment, anonymously if you need to.

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5 Responses to “My Temple Experience, part 3”

  1. Hi, I am a nevermo who has been fascinated by the ‘church’ since an encounter with 2 missionaries several years ago. Not intending any disrespect but I just find it hard to believe that people actually believe this stuff. My question here is – does the ‘church’ actually teach that Michael (the archangel) was Adam in an earlier life?

  2. nebula0 said

    Here’s the deal with angels in Mormonism: angels are simply messangers of God. That’s not so radical, except, Mormons do not believe there are a special race of beings used for this purpose, angels are either pre-mortal people, or people in the spirit world, sent to this mortal earth to do God’s bidding. So, Adam as a premortal being, was used as an angel to do God’s bidding as Michael (and presumably now too, in the spirit world). I hope that answers your question.

  3. Jon said

    I have been to the temple with my wife. We do feel it is sacred. I am sure at one time you felt the same way. I stumbled across your site because of prop 08. Out of respect for latter day saints who are trying to be as Christ like as possible and attend the temple for the first time, could you remove the posts regarding visting the temple.

  4. nebula0 said

    Jon,

    No, are you crazy? If you don’t want to read about the temple, then don’t read those posts. I put warnings in the beginning of them for a reason, so that Mormons wouldn’t read on if they were going to get offended.

    Look, the reality is that people are curious, very curious about what is going on in temples. That’s because they are big, flashy buildings that only people with membership cards can get into doing secret rituals. It’s human nature to want to know what is going on– I think back to childhood and kids making up secret clubs and pacts which only made the other children thirsty to join. It is because of that natural human curiosity that I post in as much detail as I can muster what my experience was like because I believe people have a right to know– especially people considering Mormonism as their possible spiritual home, or even MOrmons who have not had the privelege of going through the temple yet.

    In short, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. That’s the great thing about the internet.

  5. Liveinthelight said

    Very interesting story. You may want to also check out http://www.thesongofgod.com It is a site for a new book of scripture that gives a very interesting telling including most of the characters in you storyline.

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