Radio Free Mormon: 186: The Temple and Me

RFM shares his first experience going through the LDS temple endowment!


38 thoughts on “Radio Free Mormon: 186: The Temple and Me

      • Well the women discussed which Adam was cuter. 😜 Personally the Adam with the whiny voice ( I think it was with the brunette Eve) bugged the crap out of me. Those Temple movies were hilarious especially with Gordon Jump as Peter. Episodes of WKRP kept intruding in my thoughts during the ceremony.😂

    • Thanks so much for your thoughts, Angie!

      The temple is so central to the entire LDS experience; intentionally so.

      I did not grow up in the church so I wasn’t primed my whole childhood with how wonderful the temple is and how it is the pinnacle of all spiritual experiences.

      My understanding from talking with some lifetime Mormons is that, when they finally got to the temple, it definitely did not live up to the hype.

      But we Mormons are well trained; we may feel one way about something inside but we know we have to show something different on the outside.

      No matter how strange and foreign and even traumatic we may find the temple experience, we know we have to pretend we found it just as it had been described to us; the most spiritual and sacred of events.

      I suspect there is something unhealthy in that . . .

    • I am so glad you liked the episode, Maren! And thank you for the wonderful comment you wrote that allowed me to read it!

      Lots of pieces fell into place on this one while I was recording, like boiling down the temple oaths into their basic components.

      I definitely will be thinking about that temple endowment movie review. I already have lots of notes, some of which I have let slip in comments already. ;^(

      But it may have to wait a bit, because right now I am working on a podcast digging deep into the paper recently released demonstrating Joseph Smith’s reliance on the Adam Clarke Bible Commentary in coming up with his Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

      That is a game changer!

      If all goes according to plan, it will be up this Sunday!

    • Thanks for your comments, Rick W!

      I see we have a lot in common.

      It looks like listeners have already answered your question about the new name, but I will add that my understanding is that on a given day, all new names for men and all new names for women are the same.

      There is a list of men’s names and a list of women’s names and on any given day, one name is chosen, probably in order, for use.

      And yes, if you should ever forget your new name, all you have to know is the date you got your endowment, and the temple workers can look up the records for what name was being given out that day (male or female) and give you a friendly reminder.

      It is also my understanding that all men’s names come from the scriptures, but because there are so few women’s names in the scriptures, to make up for the difference, Brigham Young filled out the rest with first names of his plural wives.

      And no, I’m actually not kidding about that.

      • RFM —

        That bit about Brigham Young’s wives is hi-lar-i-ous! Now you have to do another episode to give more background!

  1. Great episode as always. One part got me curious during your coverage of the penalties and that patrons would rather die a terrible death than reveal the tokens or signs. Do you think there is a correlation between the penalties and some parent reactions that they would rather be dead than find a child is LGTBQ+ or have left the church? In other words, if you had received your endowment in 1990 or earlier, would you be more likely to have an “I’d rather be dead than” reaction to things that don’t fit Mormon theology than someone receiving the endowment later?

    • That is an interesting idea, Brad, and one that had not occurred to me. There may be something to what you say. I don’t know how we would go about proving it, but it is fascinating possibility nonetheless.

      Thanks for listening!

  2. I remember when I was new to the temple. I was so nervous about getting the signs and tokens right . During repeating the third token of the M P at the veil I said “The Patriarchal brick” instead of grip.
    I have to laugh now but at the time I was mortified.

    • LOL!

      You sound exactly like me the first time I went through the temple!

      And doubtless the second, third and probably even the fourth time.

      Funny story about the “patriarchal brick”!

      But I have to break it to you, Pam, there is no “third token” of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

      At least not in the endowment I went through . . .


      • Of course silly me just the second token lol. My mind is playing tricks on me

  3. RFM Choro!

    I was always interested in the Salt Lake temple and the other early temples from a historical point of view. I saw the SL temple regularly growing up near Salt Lake. After having been inside the SL temple for baptisms a few times as a teen, I looked forward to seeing the remainder of the building.

    From my upbringing in the church, my understanding was that the LDS church was not into rituals like the Catholic church. Boy was I wrong.

    Naked with only a poncho for W&A (1976) freaked me out. When they asked if anyone wanted to leave, if someone else would have raised their hand, I would have also. The representations of death (penalties) were freaky. Got used to it prior to mission to Japan – Fukuoka. I posted previously about that.

    I was always amazed at the older patrons who could fall asleep as soon as the lights went down, but would stand up at the right time.

    The wording “Rather than reveal the …, I would suffer my life to be taken.” points not to taking your own life, but allowing someone else to kill you. This was actually not unheard of during pioneer times. Mormons who stepped out of line sometimes “disappeared”.

    My spouse was a sign-language temple worker. She said she was given the priesthood to administer to women in temple ordinances. I would be interested in more information on that point.

    Existing Mormon Temple Film reviews:

    Imdb has user reviews, Rotten Tomatoes is bare.

    A 1979 movie titled “Murder by Decree” weaves the Freemasons and temple penalty-like deaths into the Jack the Ripper story:

    It’s a pretty good movie. Better than the different incarnations of the temple film. I have the dvd in my library. My future spouse and I saw the film in the theater shortly after I returned from Japan.

    I look forward to your “Inspired version” and temple movie review episodes. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

    Ganbatte kudasai!

  4. I was similar to you. I was from a convert family, but none had been to the temple. I was the first. I went with my bishop. I didn’t love the naked touching part, but like you, I saw the penalties (I went through in 1984), I never interpreted them as what would happen to me (by the church) if I talked. But rather, that I would allow that to happen to me rather than reveal the information.

    I was not really at all prepared for the temple. I had never seen the temple clothing or even the garments. By contrast, when my wife went through, our bishop really told her everything except the explicitly forbidden stuff.

  5. Excellent episode! “Free will and choice” is definitely an illusion. I was 18 yrs old when I took out my endowments the night before my wedding in August of 1979. My soon-to-be husband was there with his family as well as my extended family. I was sitting between my mother and grandmother with tears running down my face as my fear and anxiety grew with each penalty. (They attributed my tears to “feeling the spirit of the temple.”) But as you mentioned in the podcast, if I left the session, there would be no marriage in the morning…and the backlash of walking out would’ve been unbearable. So I sat through it, praying I would remember everything being said so I wouldn’t be left behind as everyone else went through the veil. It was a horrible experience which added to my PTSD associated with years of church-related abuse.

    I nearly cried tears of joy when I removed my name from the church a few years ago and realized I’d never have to subject myself to temple rituals again!

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