Monday, October 22, 2012

Anti-Mormon Posts YouTube Video Of Secret Mormon Temple Rituals On Reddit

While visiting the Reddit site on October 21st, 2012, I noticed that someone posted a link to a video entitled "Behind The Veil: Never-Before-Seen Footage of Secret Mormon Temple Rituals". The intent is to denigrate the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the video was filmed surreptitiously by someone who went through the Salt Lake Temple recently, and the commentary embedded within the video indicates the person is anti-Mormon. Even though the temple rituals are not disclosed to non-Mormons and Mormons who are not temple-worthy, I decided to embed the video here because this story is too important to be owned by anti-Mormons. At least the videographer had the dignity to obscure the faces of the worshippers.

What you'll see on the video, in order, is a group of worshippers in temple garments initially giving the prayer "Oh God, hear the words of my mouth" during the orientation preceding the endowment ceremony. You will then see a young teenage girl performing proxy baptism on behalf of a deceased person. Then you will see the endowment ceremony itself, first the mass briefing along with a clip of the film shown, then an individual passing through the opening, reciting the tokens or key-words while offering the ceremonial handshakes, and then the individual concludes the ceremony and goes into the Celestial Room to contemplate and reflect for a few moments before departing the temple:

Other evidences of anti-Mormon distortion embedded within the video:

-- References to an "Oath of Vengeance" that has long since been abandoned. FAIR Mormon addresses this issue in more detail.
-- Repeated derogatory highlighting of Mitt Romney to perpetrate the false notion that he would take orders from President Thomas S. Monson should he be elected President.
-- References to a government of Zion which make it appear that the LDS Church is planning to take over the government and establish a "worldwide theocracy" at some time in the future (after the Second Coming, there will be a worldwide government -- headed by Jesus Christ).
-- Misrepresentation of LDS doctrine regarding the creation. We believe that God created the earth, but we define "create" as "to organize", and we believe the Father delegated that authority to Jehovah and the archangel Michael.
-- Repeated references to the Freemasons. Similarity between Mormon and Masonic ceremonies is coincidental; there is no overt connection between Mormons and Masons.

The video was uploaded to YouTube by someone identified as Newnamenoah, and it's an abridged version of a much longer video of 1 hour and 18 minutes. Despite reassurances to the contrary by the LDS Church, Newnamenoah seems convinced that the oath taken by Mitt Romney in the temple will conflict with his Presidential Oath of Office. But Newnamenoah offers no objective evidence supporting this conclusion, but merely paranoid conjecture. If A, then B. Classical simplistic slippery-slope logic.

However, Newnamenoah's anti-Mormon bigotry will backfire. We will take the lemon with which he has presented us, and transform it into lemonade. For this offers us another "every-member-a-missionary" opportunity to spread knowledge of the fulness of the restored Gospel, particularly for LDS members who have YouTube and Reddit accounts and can post comments. We might want to act fast, because there's the possibility that the LDS Church may ask YouTube to take the video down, or even to take down Newnamenoah's channel, simply because the temple ceremonies are sacred. There certainly is not sinister about anything presented on the video. The LDS Church Temples website presents a more detailed explanation of the endowment ceremony.

So far, nearly 2,000 comments have been posted to the Reddit site. According to one commenter, the temples have RFID cards for entry. Here are a few supportive comments:

Orchidomegaly 1 point 42 minutes ago:
Mormon here. You have to remember that most of the stuff in the temple is symbolic and meant to teach through analogies. Thus to somebody who isn't familiar with that stuff it will seem very bazaar. That's why the church doesn't really allow non-members to observe the ceremonies.

TheSnowNinja 136 points 5 hours ago:
Kids do not see most of the temple ceremony. For the most part, Mormon kids lead pretty normal lives.

They go to church for a few hours on Sunday, and they might go once during the week.

But, they can't go to the temple until they are 12. Even then, they only go about once a month, if even that often, and they only do the 'baptisms for the dead.' I found the trips rather boring.

You can't do the ceremony with secret words and handshakes until you make some sort of commitment (usually); either you are about to go on a mission or you are about to get married. And you have to be at least 18.

Yes, it is weird stuff, especially as you get older and find out about these ceremonies. But a lot of Mormons treat their children very well. I grew up as a Mormon and left the church a few years back. And even though most of my family is still Mormon, they are amazing people. My parents are two of the best people I have ever met.

ActiveMormonThrowway 125 points 6 hours ago:
No ordinances take place in the Celestial Room. It is a place of quiet contemplation and reflection. People can stay in it as long as they like.

Endowments are completed upon passing through the veil, right before you go into the Celestial Room.

Marriages are performed in sealing rooms. In some temples, sealing rooms connect directly to the Celestial Room, in other temples, they don't.

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