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Thanks to arcana_j for this article about an upcoming storyline on Big Love and how the LDS church is balking at it.

The Endowment Ceremony is the first big temple ritual you get to perform as a Mormon. It's your big rite into adulthood [not what it's about, but what it is.] Guys will usually perform this just before they leave for their missions at 19, it's essentially a commitment ceremony to the Church [first] and to god [second.] Cough. This is when you get your garments, and they serve as a steady reminder of your commitment to be chaste, pure, blah blah blah.

Girls will perform this either before they leave for their missions at 21, or before they are married. A lot of girls do this the day before they are married, or the morning before their wedding, if they're not getting married first thing in the a.m. [Side note: unless you have garments, you cannot go see a wedding of a family member or friend in the temple. Period. Weddings usually take place in the morning, the bride and groom go do it, then the wedding reception is in the crappy church gym with streamers and paper cups of nuts in the late afternoon/early evening. I've only been to ONE LDS reception that wasn't in a gym. ONE.]

I'm confused as to why the show has Barb going through the Endowment ceremony, though. I assumed she and Bill had done it already, since they used to be members in good standing. I thought they had been married to the temple, and that was a big thing to them? (A lot of polygamists keep their church membership as long as they can so they can go to the temple. Now that the FLDS has a temple in El Dorado, TX, though, I bet this is no longer the case.)

The Church is going bananas about this "sacred rite" being taken "out of context" and is trying to get them to remove it. This has always been the case with anyone talking about the temple and what goes on in there. Why? Because most everything has been lifted from the Freemasons, one, and two, it all looks so cuckoo that anytime this stuff gets leaked, people leave the church - meaning, new converts. No kidding. From the article:

fears among church leaders that Mormons will become a target for ridicule or persecution because the details of the sacred temple ceremony will seem strange to non-Mormons.


Deborah Laake wrote about her experiences in the church and detailed the wedding ceremony in the temple and was raked over the coals in the church, called a slut, a whore, a pot stirrer, etc*. She just wanted to explain why she felt so weird, and how on earth she could have gone through with her wedding when everything (including the ceremony) felt bad. But the Church didn't want that out there. Because it's jacked up. It's not anything like a traditional Western wedding ceremony. At the end, your husband steps through a tear in a big cloth (hey-o, vagina) and pulls you through it - it's him taking you "beyond the veil" into the eternities. But before you do that, there's a Masonic handshake, and you touch all the points of your bodies together with the cloth between you. And everyone is sitting their in their stupid white clothes while you do it. (And the bride and groom have "fig leaves" over their genitals [over their temple clothes] and green caps on. Fucking crazy, guys.)

Back to the E. C. Just like with Baptisms for the Dead, you can go back and re-perform this ceremony for people who died without doing it, a necessary step before you do the marriage ceremony for people who died before being Mormon Married. (Like how some members stood in for Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun in the late 60s in the LA Temple. Aww, those crazy kids, together at last.)

In the storyline of Big Love it seems that Barb is going through the Endowment to save her membership. Um, I'm not buying that. There has to be more than that. She either has her garments and goes through a court with her church leaders (either being disfellowshipped or excommunicated for Her Sins) or she didn't have garments in the first place (big misstep on the writer's part if so) and has to get HER HUSBAND to go along with her. Rare is the woman that gets G's without being married to a Worthy Man.

I'll be watching this next episode very closely.

* When you go through the temple for any of the rites, you are told to not talk about what happens in the temple outside the temple. Not even with your husband, spouse, etc. It's considered too sacred for the world, and you will tarnish the beauty and sacredness of their ordinances. I was raised to believe this and always followed this dictate until I left the church in the 2000. I firmly believe that anytime an entity of any kind (organization, leader, husband...) tells you to not talk about something they're training you to do, that's a massive Red Flag that Something Is Wrong Here.


The Actual Endowment Ceremony

(Note: I left the church before going through this rite. However. Being Born in the Covenant, as it's called, I'm well versed in what happens. Because let's face it: your parents will instruct you on what to expect, even though you're not supposed to talk about it. Parents, like my dad, want/ed their children/me to be excited about the spiritual journey that you're going about to take.

First off, this event is HOURS long. In the older days (pre 80s, mainly) members that worked in the temple would re-enact various aspects of the church's spiritual belief, like Adam and Eve being cast out of Eden, etc. Now they usually have a video made at BYU that you watch. I still think that's weird, and did when I was devout, too.

The first stage is a "washing and anointing." Men and women would NOT do this in the same place, btw. Everything here is the same, minus the part about receiving the higher level of Priesthood (Melchezidek) for the men. Women do not and will not ever have the Priesthood in the LDS church. Because they were gifted with Motherhood, you see. *eye roll*

The part of this that bugs me is that once you get there, you go to your dressing room and put on a "shield." That's basically a long sheet with a hole in the middle so you're open at the sides. A temple worker "washes" you with a damp cloth by reaching in those gaps and touching you with that cloth on various parts of your body. Your head, eye lids, nose, neck, shoulders, arms, LOINS, legs, feet. For women toss in breasts, too. HI THERE NO THANK YOU. A prayer is said at every point wishing you health and proper function of all of those parts. A prayer with two sets of hands on your head cleansing you from sin and then protecting you from "the sins of this generation" happens, then the washing steps are then repeated with their fingers dipped in sacred oil.

Next up, you're dressed in the garments. YOU are dressed, you do not dress yourself. Side note: in order to climb the spiritual ladder in the church, you have to have garments. You have to buy them, by the way. They aren't provided for you, even though you have to have them. Does this bug anyone else? Just me? Alrighty then.

Next, you're given a new name, and this is the holy name that you'll be called at the time of the zombie apocalypse Second Coming of Christ if you're a man, and the name you'll be called by your husband in order to be resurrected if you're a woman. Thanks, honey! Better not forget it! I've had temple workers confess to me that there's ONE NAME each day. So, every woman that goes in on Tuesday or whatever is "Sarah." But Monique "Sarah" Christensen will know which Sarah she is if Betty Lou "Sarah" Jensen's husband cries out "Sarah." OH MY GOD. I believed this stuff in my bones, what the hell, me?!?

OH SNAP! I just asked my dad about this, and he informed me that they've changed this whole thing up. Um, what about everything in the Church being perfect and true? Whatever. Instead of being dressed, you can dress yourself, and instead of the temple workers feeling you up, they just do your forehead. WHY NOT DO IT THAT WAY BEFORE? Also, lol at them changing this up. I swear, I have been told ad nauseum that The Church and all its teachings are True and Perfect my whole life, and they are CONSTANTLY changing things. *head thunk*

Anyhoodle, after the washing and anointing, you go back to the locker room (where there are locks on the lockers in the Lord's House. Ahem.) and put on your temple clothes. All white, nothing but white from stem to stern. Shoes, laces, etc. (Bill and Joey were dressed in Temple Clothing at the wedding that didn't happen, btw. I thought that was a nice touch.)

Everyone that came with you is now in an auditorium, and you go in there, hopefully beaming after being molested by an 80 year old temple worker. Men on one side, women on the other. That's when you get to put on the funky apron and hat - a green bib to dangle in front of your dangle - it's meant to symbolize the fig leaves Adam and Eve wore, a long robe like you see Jesus wearing in those brown hair, blonde-eyed Jesus pictures, but not read, it's also white and only covers one shoulder, and a sash for the other shoulder, tied in a bow at your waist. Women get a veil over their face (now everything but your hands are covered. Ahem.) and the guys get a white cap that almost looks like a deflated chef's hat.

Now starts the show: the dramatization of the creation of Man, the fall of Adam, getting kicked out of Eden (there are lots of scary pictures of all of this stuff all over the temple, too. Esp. in the SLC temple,) and Peter James and John getting the Keys of the Priesthood. There's a guy that plays Lucifer in these that has talked about how hard it is for him to play the devil and go to church every Sunday. Weird. There used to be a derogatory Christian Minister that played the part of Satan's Helper, but this was taken out after I graduated high school.

Note: Jesus ONLY APPEARS ONCE as the creator of the universe as Jehovah. But no, they're so Christian it hurts, right?

My dad laughed one time about going to the SLC temple and seeing all of this reenactment by these old codgers (most temple workers are retired people that are members) and how monotone it would be delivered, or when someone would strike at Satan everyone was afraid the person would fall over and break a hip. Sidetracked, sorry.

Before all of this was put on video tape, you would go to a new room for every part of this 'play." I believe you still do at the older temples like the one in St. George, SLC, and Manti. I mean, they have those rooms built, why not use them? You end up in the Celestial Room (all temples have this place) and it's crazy opulent and decadent, because it's symbolizing the highest kingdom of heaven. (Don't forget: Mormons have a caste system in heaven.)

Throughout the viewing, you'll have to pledge an oath to obey the Law of Obedience, Sacrifice, The Gospel, Chastity [the biggy] and Consecration. That third one is you not talking about what went on in the temple, and also that you won't participate in "loud laughter." I am not making that up. Also, for women, you would not only promise to Obey the Church and its Priesthood, but your husband, too. I don't think they make you say that last one any more, but you sure did say that when I was growing up.

To swear this oath, you bring your arm to the square (hand up, elbow bent at 90 degrees.) All of these following three elements are HEAVILY STEEPED in Freemasonry (if not lifted from their ceremonies verbatim) which is all about the Square. (They were builders, for Pete's sake. The Level and the Square?) You have "tokens, signs and penalties" which are this:


  • tokens: special handclasps, and again, anyone that knows a Mason knows what I'm talking about. It's the exact same handshake with the finger bent into the palm? I say it again: Joseph Smith was a 32nd Degree Mason. But no, the LDS temple has nothing Masonic about it.

  • signs: ways to hold your hands and arms to indicate that you are endowed. Again, this is ALL from the Freemasons! The arms are presented in the sign of the freaking level and square. You aren't supposed to do this outside the temple, btw. Big no no. But you do this in the temple, where everyone is the same, because you need to identify yourself? What? The idea is that you'll need to do this in The Last Days to gain admittance to the Penthouse Level of Heaven, or something.

  • Penalties: this was taken out recently, but some old timers STILL DO THIS. Mostly because they've said these words for 40 some-odd years, so it's ingrained. This is when you swear to cut your throat, cut your heart out, and slit your bowels, spilling them forth if you ever talk about the temple rites outside the temple. WHICH IS WHY MORMONS GET FREAKED OUT WHEN SOMEONE TALKS ABOUT IT. You swore to kill yourself, basically. There was an upsurge in new converts in the 80s and 90s and this part was freaking people out (again, when you're Born in the Covenant, you kinda know this stuff already, so you're not freaked.) The church officially modified the temple ceremony to keep people coming back to the temples.



I always thought this was so weird - I used to be TERRIFIED of getting my Endowments. Also, please note that once again the Great and Perfect Church with the Truth from God in Everything changed some shit up.

There's other stuff like a big group prayer, and anyone that's seen a baby blessed in Sacrament Service can imagine the way the guys stand with their hand out for the baby and the other hand on the shoulder next to them? You do that, hopefully boy-girl-boy-girl. At this point anyone who has their name on the "temple list" gets included in the Proper Prayer, so if you're sick, or something like that, they all pray for you.

Lastly you get to walk through The Veil, symbolic of being resurrected and becoming Eternal with a capital E. Women have to be "brought through" the veil by their priesthood holder, aka their spouse or their father. This veil has the same symbols that are on the garments - the Square and the Level, called the Mark of the Compass and the Mark of the Square. Before you're pulled through, a temple worker smacks a mallet down (again, a part of the Mason's rituals) has a dialog with "The Lord" (an unseen temple worker on the other side of the cloth,) you have to be called your new name, answer back with the word you've been given, do the hokey pokey and badda boom, you're all holy now.

When women were brought through, they had to "embrace the Lord." Here we go, people. This is when a woman's Five Points would come in direct contact with "the Lord" (aka the person representing him that day)

1. The inside of your right foot to his outside of his right foot
2. your knee to their knee
3. breast to breast
4. hand to back
5. mouth to ear

No, that's not creepy or weird at all. Again, I think this, along with "I will totally gut myself, O My Father" part was altered because it's gross. You don't know who that person is and that's pretty damn intimate for someone that's never gotten any nookie before. (You have to be pure to go to the temple.) You're through the veil and enter the Celestial Room where you get to sit, beam at your new status, or quietly freak out because that was some weird-ass shit you just did. I have some friends that confided in me that they were trying to not burst into tears, completely disillusioned by what just happened, but they couldn't, because apparently now they were married (if that's a part of the ceremony) and everyone was watching.

I cannot stress how HAPPY I am that I ended up not going on a mission, which means I didn't have to get my Garments and do all of this stuff. Oh, and from this point on, after the ceremony, that is, you do NOT take off those garments unless: swimming (you're not encouraged to tan - that's time exposing your sacred vessel) during vigorous exercise, or showering. They're made so that you can have sex while wearing them, incidentally. For ladies, your bra and panties go OVER the garments. How hot is that?

For more on how the LDS church ripped off the Masons (Joseph Smith introduced all of this stuff to his followers two months after being initiated as Mason) you can read about it here.

And here are some pretty pictures of the SLC temple, which really is a beautiful building. You can see all the different rooms used in the ceremony. I used to go to the temple all the time in college to relax, find peace, pray, try and figure out what on earth was true. Interesting and Random Fact: all Eastern facing doors of LDS temples are sealed, waiting for the Second Coming and when Moroni will blow his trumpet (that golden dude on top of all the temples?) signaling the end of days. That will blast open the doors.


It's frickin' freezing here today and rainy. I require more coffee and possibly some curry and rice-type dish. And naps. Mmmm, naps. I probably won't do any of that, but spend the day writing and revising. Maybe a hot chai? OOOH. Yes. *zooms to make some*

Comments

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irreparable
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
I was Born in the Covenant as well but refused point blank to go to the Temple. In fact, I was so adamant about not going that everyone in the Stake thought I had some huge hidden sin (sex related of course, and I was only 13 at the time, what the hell,) that prevented me from going. Everyone was convinced that my sekrit sin was so Bad And Awful that my eternal shame prevented me from confessing to the Bishop and doing whatever it is you do when you confess big sins when you're a minor and they want you to be pure to go to the Temple.

My only big sin? I was terrified of the whole Temple gig. The mystery of it wasn't enticing or exciting, it was frankly fucking terrifying.

A few years ago I read this and not only did I feel immense sorrow and empathy for this man, but it also solidified my childhood belief that the Temple rites were not for me, not ever, no way, no how, nosireebob.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
I couldn't WAIT to go, myself. I did temple baptisms every month, and in college, sometimes every week. O_O WTF?!

But when I got older and heard more and more about the other things... that's when I didn't want to go. I NEVER could imagine wearing garments. I would see my mom getting dressed, putting her big ol' bra on over them, and just thinking it looked uncomfortable as hell. And living in Texas, where it's crazy hot? Uh...

I've read that guy's account, too. That's how a bunch of my friends that had gone on missions (or were married at 19) explained it to me, too. My 20s were filled with conflicting needs - temple and progression, or damnation? BLAH. I'm so glad I now see it all for what it is.
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enigmaticblues
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
That's...wow. I'd heard some of this before from ex-Mormons, but I hadn't heard the bit about bra and panties going over garments. WTF?
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
YEAH. Over the panties. Nothing comes between you and your Calvins. Er, G's.

Capped sleeves, modest neckline, down to your knees. Which means your clothing has to follow suit. Imagine living in Texas in August and having to wear sleeves and pants with all of those layers underneath?

And old school Gs went to your ankles and wrists and were WOOL.
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furikku
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:10 pm (UTC)
That's some wacky stuff.

Also, "Moroni" is a really unfortunate name. :/
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's not a good name. Neither is "Mormon." Take out one M...
windstar
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Is the FLDS still using that temple? I thought they said it had been "desecrated" and they had to build another one?

Thanks for this detailed information, I am always wanting to learn more. The LDS/FLDS fascinates me for some reason. I am currently reading Daughter of the Saints by Dorothy Allred Solomon, and it is very interesting!
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:41 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm sure they're still using the temple at the Ranch. They probably had some ceremony to cleanse it.

Oooh, interesting tidbit about that Solomon book - that's a reprint you have where she went back and took out a BUNCH of stuff that could have been embarassing to her husband, etc. The original one is called "In The House of my Father" or something (it's at my dad's) and she talked about how after she left the commune and married her husband, they dabbled a bit in drugs (pot, pfft) and wife swapping groups. That's not in the book you have, is it? *G*
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gehayi
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:22 pm (UTC)
This is when you swear to cut your throat, cut your heart out, and slit your bowels, spilling them forth if you ever talk about the temple rites outside the temple. WHICH IS WHY MORMONS GET FREAKED OUT WHEN SOMEONE TALKS ABOUT IT. You swore to kill yourself, basically.

I don't get it.

So freaking WHAT if you promised to kill yourself? People break promises all the time. I said a few "cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye" promises when I was little, but when I broke them, I didn't kill or blind myself! Nobody sane would! It would be STUPID.

Especially since all you have to do is tell God you're sorry, but you can't keep Promise X. He's bound to forgive you. It's part of His job description.

Women have to be "brought through" the veil by their priesthood holder, aka their spouse or their father.

I know that I would try to find a way to go through the veil before the ceremony. The fact that a bunch of stupid old men said I wasn't supposed to would only convince me that something really cool happened if you went through on your own--and why should the guys have all the fun?

Oh, and from this point on, after the ceremony, that is, you do NOT take off those garments unless: swimming (you're not encouraged to tan - that's time exposing your sacred vessel) during vigorous exercise, or showering. They're made so that you can have sex while wearing them, incidentally.

God, and I thought the Catholic Church was nuts when it came to sex. People seriously wear the garments? Or do some people just shove the ugly things into a drawer somewhere and forget about them? I mean, how would anyone know if you were wearing them or not? And why would anyone care? (Aside from a frat boy on a panty raid, that is.)

Is it wrong that my first thought on seeing the Temple Baptistries was "Why do they have golden calves in the Temple?"

By the way, I'm sorry if anything I'm saying is offensive. It's just that religion in general is incomprehensible to me. It always has been. I was raised by very moral people, but not very religious people. Twelve years of studying religion (and getting straight A's, by the way) didn't make the subject one bit more understandable. So, again, I'm sorry.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:43 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind that for devout religious people, swearing something to God (which is what that "I'll cut my throat, etc." stuff is) isn't taken lightly. A nun takes her vows seriously, etc. etc. That's the level of belief/indoctrination we're talking about here.

Obviously someone such as yourself (and me) that doesn't cotton to religion thinks it's wacky, but when you're raised to believe that God is living and involved in every thing you do, you don't take swearing an oath lightly.

Everyone who is devoutly Mormon that has garments wears them and takes them very seriously. People who leave the church often find NOT wearing them weird and scary.

There's a good reason why I'm not religious at all. But for people that are? This is as real as anything to them.
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fabrisse
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for sharing this. I contemplated conversion to LDS in my youth. It's good to know I made the right choice.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
!!!

GLAD to be of help. Ferserios.
fiveandfour
Mar. 11th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
My dad was a Mason and I belonged to a youth group where being closely related to a Mason was a requirement for joining. (I suppose I should do some posts on this some day; as it is, it's something I never really talk about.)

Anyway, as you were describing the Endowment Ceremony, it reminded me of how much the Masons love the symbolic. (And they have those little aprons, too, though so far as I know they don't have green splotches standing in for fig leaves.) In the case of indoctrination rituals, they make great use of the symbolic journey - hence the travel from room to room in the Endowment Ceremony. In Masonic ceremonies, the travel is all in the same room, but within the room various points are meant to represent different (symbolic) things or locations.

And as you mention with the Mormons, everyone takes an oath to keep everything a secret, so the only people you can talk things over with are others members.

I still remember how utterly baffled I was as I went through the initiation ritual. Since no one had said a single word to me before it started about what to expect, my experience started outside a closed door (with guards on either side trained with special knocks to denote when it was ok to open the door), so everything inside the room was a complete mystery. Upon being taken inside the room, I was guided from station to station and was told what each place and person represented - and as someone seeing it all for the first time, it all made very little sense. Only upon years of exposure to what the various symbols were meant to entail did it start to become clear.

The thing is, this was something I did as a kid and this group was designed so that as one reaches maturity, you are no longer a member. My cynical self says this is because once a person reaches maturity, one comes to see all of the inconsistencies and more fully understands how idiotic many of the rituals are, but in truth, it's probably more likely that because this group was formed at a time when girls were married by their late teens, phasing people out around marriage age just made sense.

My point is, I find it hard to understand how one can go through rituals like that as an adult and not see big waving flags everywhere they turn. I guess it's a real innocence versus experience thing: once the veil is torn away and one can see something clearly, it's not possible to not see that thing. Meanwhile, there are others that not only prefer looking through a veil, they need the veil.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
I know that Joseph fine-tuned some of the ordinances and wording to make it seem Purely Mormon, so that's not surprising that the Masons don't have the fig leaf on their apron. And in a lot of the modern temples, you don't go from room to room like you did in the old days, but there are still... hmm... three rooms you'd journey to?

I remember going with my grandmother to Lodge. My cousins (not LDS) thought it was all weird, and I wasn't as it seemed very familiar, if tweaked.

"this is because once a person reaches maturity, one comes to see all of the inconsistencies and more fully understands how idiotic many of the rituals are" I can totally agree with that, and the latter half of that statement, too. *G*

I'm right there with you on HOW CAN YOU NOT SEE HOW WEIRD THIS IS?! The only conclusion I can come up with is that everyone around you thinks it's normal. No one thinks it's weird or bizarre, so if you don't agree with it, what does that say about you? Everyone else in your church has obv. gone through these steps, so what's the deal?

It's such an insidious mindset, I'm so glad I don't live in Utah anymore.

I'd love to read your posts on your youth group, should you ever write them.
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stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
Re: what baffles me...
from what I've ever learned on my own or from my studies/my dad/other members, women used to push for their own powers, etc., but never got anything similar to what men have.

Most of that (back in Joe SMith's days) refers to the Mother God, which has since been severely downplayed (Barbara Toscano was excommunicated for talking about her, for example.)

Women could "heal" and receive blessings from God in the manner that today only men can, but that was not common, and now isn't possible in their dogma. Another thing common in the early days was "speaking in tongues" which has now been completely redefined to separate the church from things like Pentecostal type activities.

To me, being in charge of the Women's Auxillary group (the Relief Society, still in existence) isn't the same as being a bearer of the power of God, you know?
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ethrosdemon
Mar. 11th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
The killing yourself oath is also Masonic, as I'm sure you're aware.

What happens to spinsters nowadays in Mormonism? Are there any? Is there some kind of matchmaking deal or something to marry them off? If the whole point of your life is motherhood, there must be some process to make sure every woman is married, right?

So, is the infertility industry centered in SLC or what?

All religions sound completely insane when broken down (because they are, ok), but I always sort of handwave that and say "oh, it was made up when people were much more ignorant and naive, fine!" but *cough* how does this religion get converts? MIND BOGGLING!

stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC)
Didn't I put up there that the whole killing yourself is Masonic? I'll add that, in case not, because yeah - almost the WHOLE THING is lifted from the Freemasons, it's simply shameful.

Spinsters do occur, and there's a long standing joke about women not married (by the preferred age of 23, I need to dig up an old BYU comic strip about this...)

When you're married, a woman is "sealed" to her husband so he can pull her through the vagina into the eternities, right? And if she does and he remarries, the new woman is sealed to him, which is still the practice in the mainstream church. Unmarried women can be sealed to men after they've died, (the women.) No "worthy daughter of God" will be left out of His Kingdom, is what you're taught. You'll just be matched up to some dude in the hereafter.

There's another nudge nudge wink wink thing in the culture about the Sons of Helaman, the "stripling warriors" who died in the Book of Mormon defending God. They were all virgins and pure and beautiful (natch) and there were 2000 of them. So they'll all be up there scouting the Joy Book to find 'em a wife, so there's plenty to go around. (Gag.)

And women who can't (or won't) have babies are taught that their mission is to serve the other mothers in their ward/parish. (Again, gag.)

Kassie, I've been trying to figure out how people convert to this religion for YEARS. I think the only way they can do it is by keeping all of this stuff from them until they're already in and involved. They just hear all the basic stuff that the average person knows about Mormons, they're industrious, they love their families, they're clean and moral and blah blah blah. Then it's all "cut your guts out in the name of the Church!!"

(I'm with you on all religions being baffling when broken down, too. The LDS church isn't unique, except for the fact that it's less than 200 years old!!)
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gabzilla
Mar. 11th, 2009 07:41 pm (UTC)
I seriously LOLed at the thought of Satan breaking a hip. Very Grandpa Simpson-esque.

Yeah, organized religions NEVER really made much sense to me. Well, I get the "beauty" of something symbolic to believe in, but can't take that literal leap. I more often noticed how hypocritical people who claimed to be religious were.

Thanks for sharing some dirty details with your great humor... Zombie apocalypse, no kidding..
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC)
hahahaha, Grandpa Simpson! "Back in Shelbyville Old Scratch used to wear an onion tied to his belt as that was the style then..."

I, uh, I agree with EVERYTHING you've said up there. Obviously *now* since I used to be a sheep, but you get me. It's nice to have something to believe in when life's awful, but other than that? Hmm.

The Zombie Apocalypse, I'm telling you it's coming! :D Your icon has WON MY HEART, btw.
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kseenaa
Mar. 11th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
This... This belief. It is not a belief at all. It is a cult, pure and simple. *goes to be pissed off in a corner*
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
WE ARE AGREED. 100%
roflcopter_down
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:09 pm (UTC)
That is absolutely fascinating. Actually, there are a lot of words I can use to describe it, but they all fall short somewhere around horrifying. Thank you for writing about this.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
I'm just glad I've got someone that won't call me a screeching harpy for going on and on about all of this... LOL.
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montyollie
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
Excellent post, as always. I love your insights into mormonism!

But I don't think it's really possible to put the inside of your right foot against the outside of his right foot and still make all those other contact points. That's more like a game of twister. :)

Edited at 2009-03-11 08:15 pm (UTC)
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
See, that's how they getcha: you have to be limber to be a child of god!
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aimeelicious
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
The link to the pictures is a site full of all kinds of interesting, scary stuff. When I have more time I intend to read until my blood pressure can't take it anymore.

There was a point in my life where I wanted so much to belong to something bigger than me that this would have appealed. I am SO glad it was never introduced as an option, lol. My boobs don't fit in my bra as it is, stuffing something else in there too is not possible.

I make light because I am both baffled and angry that this kind of thing goes on, and otherwise sensible people buy in.

stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC)
I can completely understand that need to belong to something - we humans are very community-based. I just wish that people would belong to something that wasn't exclusionary, reactionary, and judgmental.

I'm right there with you on that last sentence.
spiralleds
Mar. 11th, 2009 09:18 pm (UTC)
and also that you won't participate in "loud laughter."

Yeah, I'd never cut it as a Mormon.


I'm trying to figure out the point of wearing panties/boxers/briefs/whatever if you've got the garment on. Which now has my brain imagining what a post-ceremony Mormon boy doing the gangstah look would look like.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 09:46 pm (UTC)
How do you think *I* fared?! And the crazy thing is, that was another thing added. Joseph Smith was well known for his boisterous, infectious laugh and that he laughed a LOT. So crazy.

Back when there were no tampons but only the pads that were affixed with a belt (later pins, later the modern-day pad) you had to do SOMETHING to, stem the flow, as it were. Garments are split at the crotch so you can sit down without taking them off and use the loo.
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jupiterinmo
Mar. 11th, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
Excellent post. I remember one winter probably about 15 years ago my aunt happened to get hit by a car. She's fine, but had a horrible scar on her cheek. That didn't freak her out. The fact that the hospital workers had to cut her garments off did. Oy!

And yeah, I visited the temple in Navoo (though not the official parts just the touristy ones) and the first thing that struck this pagan kid was all the inverted freemasonry pentacles around the top. I tried not to giggle, because I'm thinking dudes the inverted pentacle isn't the nice one. hehe.
stoney321
Mar. 11th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, I can imagine her horror at her garments being rent and not in the Official Manner, too!

Navoo! I went on a trip there and still have my Navoo cookbook. :D And aren't the Masonic symbols strong there?
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thebratqueen
Mar. 11th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
This would be the spoiler I heard that made me think of you. I can't wait to hear your thoughts after it airs.
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 11:44 am (UTC)
GOTCHA! Dude, I am on TENTERHOOKS waiting for this next ep! And I'm going to miss it until later next week, woe!!
lynnenne
Mar. 12th, 2009 01:04 am (UTC)
I am so glad you got out of that crazy tribe and into writing gay porn. YOU BELONG WITH US.
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
*clings*

I am so happy about that, too!!! :D
sabrinafair2
Mar. 12th, 2009 01:13 am (UTC)
So I'm really hoping, although you didn't mention it that you can take these garments off to wash them. Otherwise...ew

Coming from the background of being uber-religious, although it wasn't anything like FLDS, (it was closer to Evangelical), anything too religious really unnerves me. However, I can't seem to get enough of learning about them.
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC)
Well, yes. You have several pair - it's just like underwear. And I'm hoping you change your underwear, too? ;)
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queenofalostart
Mar. 12th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
I had no idea about the Garments thing. None! I wonder if Mittens wears them? Okay, wait, I really don't want to be thinking about what Mitt Romney is wearing under his suits!

Thanks for sharing all this fascinating information!
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 11:46 am (UTC)
Oh, of course he does! Every married (or a missionary) member of the church that is active wears them. EVERY ONE.
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Dear Aunt Stoney - ghymoreid - Mar. 13th, 2009 12:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Dear Aunt Stoney - ghymoreid - Mar. 13th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC)
Well, you could start by not immediately lambasting her or mocking her? Hahahaa, that wouldn't be good. As someone who was reached out to by her non-Mormon friends, asking her to explain to you some of the weirder aspects of the church and letting her draw her own conclusions would be the most effective way. Plus, she won't hate you for insulting her beliefs - she'll blame the appropriate people, her religious leaders.
soalivesofree
Mar. 12th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Oh HELL NO. I am not caught up on my Big Love yet so it kills me to be unable to read this stuff. I am obsessed with the history and evolution of temple endowments and want to see what you have to say!
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Catch up catch up! i'll be late on talking about the next episode because I'm going out of town and it's KILLING ME that I'll have to wait to see it!
denelian
Mar. 12th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
so... one must be endowed to receive their Garments???

the reason why i am confused is, 10 or so years ago, i dated this Mormon guy. sweetest guy ever. he was married, but getting divorced (his wife cheated on him and cheated on him and... that bit was ugly) and she had been converting, but wasn't fully converted, but she had Garments. she was very proud of this. at the time i knew almost nothing of Mormonism, and what little i did know was from this guy Brent.
she wasn't fully converted, but she had Garments and they married in their local temple.
does it matter less about the woman being Mormon, when they get married? was it a special dispensation or something? its been bugging me, ever since i started reading your Mormon stuff, about her and her Garments and their getting married in Temple and such.

(to tell the end of the story. Brent and i broke up, because i wasn't going to convert, and he wouldn't have sex outside of marriage and i wasn't going to marry him, since it seemed to be required that i convert to do so. which is when i met his ex-and-then-remarried wife. after Brent and i broke up, they got back together. and remarried, although according to him that had never NOT been married in the Church itself. lost touch with them a couple years later. they had least one baby, and seemed happy enough at the time)
stoney321
Mar. 12th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
She had been converting, but not fully converted? I have no idea how that translates into the world of LDS. It's all or nothing with us. If she was married in the temple, then she was a full fledged member, and if she went to the temple, she did the ceremony I just detailed in the post.

If you're not a member of the church in good standing (sounds like she lied about that last bit) then you can go to the temple. No one else can.

They all sound like a bunch of drama queens to me, I'm worn out just reading it and trying to put the pieces together!
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chosen0112
Mar. 12th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
I got to the Five Points and started singing the Hokey Pokey. Also, we have fairytale creatures in Australia who wear Gumleaves on their genitals and have green caps made from Gumnut seeds, they are called Gumnut Babies, and were created by May Gibbs. I'm now very curious what her religion was. Hehe, that can be my Mission. I am so witty Bwahaha!
/lame jokes
ipnotika
Mar. 13th, 2009 01:12 am (UTC)
I've been lurking for awhile -- I love reading your blog, especially as a Recovering Mormon myself. I haven't considered myself a member since I was 13 (god, 20 years ago now?).

Gs were always beyond me. Really? They're supposed to protect you from fires and broken ribs and whatever? That just made no sense. I wasn't going to believe in magic underwear, much less wear them. I remember my father ritually destroying a pair of his once they wore out, cutting the symbolic points off and flushing them down the toilet before throwing out the remainder of the cloth in the trash. Even though he himself hasn't been a member for almost as long as myself, he still wears Gs because he's worn them so long that regular underwear just feels too strange to him.

My mother remained faithful to her belief until she died. She requested an LDS funeral service, and was dressed (by her RS president) in her temple clothes. My father warned those of us who had not seen them (aka the black sheep who never got endowments) that they would be "weird". I must say that I heartily enjoyed intimidating the barely 25 year old bishop of her ward, who presided -- what with my punky hair and tattoos and piercings and stiletto heels. Good times. But I digress.

I was always very averse to the temple proceedings, and thinking it creepy that the parentals literally kept their temple clothes (and accessories) under lock and key. I did baptisms once, the year I was old enough, and that was plenty. Baptizing for dead people just wigged me out. We went to several temple open houses, though, before the buildings were consecrated, and they are remarkably pretty buildings. I especially love the broken dishes in the foundation of the SLC temple. I could never figure out why there are locks on the lockers, either.
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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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