Friday, December 23, 2011

The True Cost of Freedom

"O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Silent Night

For my brother and sisters who stand watch at the gate so that I can sleep in peace.

I had no Christmas spirit when I breathed a weary sigh, and looked
across the table where the bills were piled too high.
The laundry wasn't finished and the car I had to fix, My stocks were
down another point, the Dolphins lost by six.

And so with only minutes till my son got home from school, I gave up on
the drudgery and grabbed a wooden stool.
The burdens that I carried were about all I could take, and so I flipped
the TV on to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene in shades of tan and rust, No snowflakes hung
upon the wind, just clouds of swirling dust.
And where the reindeer should have stood before a laden sleigh, eight
hummers ran a column right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank, not one was past his teens, Their
eyes were hard as polished flint, their faces drawn and lean.
They walked the street in armor with their rifles shouldered tight,
their dearest wish for Christmas, just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered, hunkered down against the wind, To share a
scrap of mail and dreams of going home again.
There wasn't much at all to put their lonely hearts at ease, They had no
Christmas turkey, just a pack of MRE's.

They didn't have a garland or a stocking I could see, They didn't need
an ornament-- they lacked a Christmas Tree.
They didn't have a present even though it was tradition, the only boxes
I could see were labeled "ammunition".

I felt a little tug and found my son now by my side, He asked me what it
was I feared, and why it was I cried.
I swept him up into my arms and held him oh so near and kissed him on
the forehead as I whispered in his ear.

There's nothing wrong, my little son, for safe we sleep tonight, our
heroes stand on foreign land to give us all the right, to worry about
the things in life that really mean nothing at all, instead of wondering
each day if we will be the next to fall.

He looked at me as children do and said it's always right, to thank the
ones who help us and perhaps that we should write.
And so we pushed aside the bills and sat to draft a note, to thank the
many far from home, and this is what we wrote,

God bless you all and keep you safe, and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so, and that you're not alone.
The gift you give, you share with all, a present every day, You give the
gift of liberty and that we can't repay.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fasting: I finally get it

Since I became a Christian one of the doctrines I've never really understood was fasting. The missionaries who taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ neglected to mention this Christian principle to me and it never really sunk in. During my own time as a missionary I struggled with the doctrine of fasting and even refused to teach it at times because I couldn't teach something I didn't believe in. When my missionary companion would fast I would cook a wonderful meal for me.

The issue I had with fasting stems from a misunderstanding of prayer. People I know would fast for this or that. At times it seemed to me that people treated fasting as a trump card. If I prayed for X to happen and it hasn't that means I need to fast and then God will make it happen. This caused me to look at fasting like a proposition. If I starve myself with a purpose God will be obligated to listen to me so that I don't starve to death. So many times fasting seemed to me just to be prayer on steroids. I just couldn't comprehend why God would listen to prayers of half starved people and not listen to the same prayers if the people had a full belly.

This all changed this past week. In Sunday school we were talking about covenants and someone brought up fasting. Immediately talk began to move toward prayer being this magical kind of trump card that turns God into some kind of mythical genie or Santa Claus. As I set in my seat trying to bite my tongue the Holy Spirit illuminated my mind.

Fasting is not a trump card to get God to listen to you or even a way to show God, "Hey I am really serious about this prayer." Rather fasting in its purest form is a way to turn a person's prayers into the kind of prayers they should be. Fasting is a principle that at its very core is transformative. A true fast should imbue the person with greater spirituality, it gives a person the ability to tell the natural man no, while the spiritual person grows toward dominance. During a fast a person should come to an understanding of what God's will is.

It is God's will not our own that we should pray for. We should pray that our hearts be turned towards God's purpose and not our own. When our purpose is contrary to God's such as in praying for someone to get better and God's will is that they graduate to the next world our prayers should be that we ask God to help us accept this calling home or that we can accept their pain and suffering as part of God's will.

Fasting is the required ingredient in this divine recipe that allows a person to be spirituality mature and disciplined enough to pray for the right things. Fasting is what allows a person to better know the mind of God through increased spirituality.

I now know that I can and look forward to fasting.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bible Dictionary: Atonement

For my New Testament class I had to write a bible dictionary topic. I choose the atonement. Keeping it limited to three pages was the hardest part of the assignment. What do you think of it? What could I add? What should I take out?

Atonement: The word atonement implies that two people who are estranged can be together again. In While the New Testament only has the word Atonement in Romans 5:11 the Old Testament is full of references of an atonement between the sinning human and a holy God. The Old Testament reconciled the gulf between human and God by the use of animal sacrifice that covered or atoned for sin. the case of the New Testament the Synoptic Gospel authors, John and Paul all use the word reconcile, reconciliation and atone to imply that humans through the sacrifice of Christ can be sanctified. While the New Testament authors are all in agreement that atonement with God is accomplished through Christ they each record this principle differently.

The cross is integral part of Mark’s gospel. The first reference to the cross is found in Mark 2:19-20 where Christ refers to a bridegroom who will be taken away. The central part of Mark's gospel 8:27-10:52 can be segregated into three sections (8:31; 9:31; 10:32-34). Each of these sections function to explain the necessity of the sacrifice and cross from a soteriological point of view that establishes it is the will of God for Christ to be sacrificed.

There are three significant images that are recorded by Mark that describe Christ’s suffering, the cup (10:38; 14:23-24, 36) the baptism (10:38) and the ransom for many (10:45). Each of these has images relates back to a part of the Old Testament. The cup has reference to Christ bearing the wrath of God for humanity( Ps. 75:8; Is. 51:17-23; Jer. 25:15-28) The image of baptism indicates being overwhelmed by a flood of troubles (Ps. 69:1-2, 14-15). The concept of the ransom of many refers back to Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Isaiah prophesied of a new exodus that would be accomplished by the servant of the Lord( Is. 35:9; 41:14; 43:1, 14; 44:33-24; 51:11; 52:2; 62:12; 63:9) Mark is trying to get his reader to understand that it is the death of Jesus that will the ransom that is paid to free the sinner from slavery.

Matthew includes much of the same material that Mark records. In the first chapter of Matthew Christ’s mission is made evident (Matt: 1:21). This is fulfilled later in Matthew 26:28. There are three sub-conflicts in Matthew between Jesus and the religious establishment, his disciples when they demonstrate a lack of faith and lastly the conflict with Satan. Each of these conflicts is ultimately resolved by Christ when he submits to the will of the Father in Gethsemane (Matt. 26:39, 42) and when he overwhelms the will of Satan. (Matt. 16:21-23)

Like Mark, Matthew records that Jesus fulfilled the words of Isaiah. (Is. 53) Differing from Mark, Matthew has two explicit citations that state that Jesus is the one prophesied of. (Is. 53:4; 42:1-4; Matt. 8:17; 12:17-21) In Christ’s healing of the sick, infirm, and possessed showed that even his ministry portrayed his ultimate messianic mission.

In The Passover meal in both Mark and Matthew Jesus gave additional words over both the bread and wine that impress His imminent sacrifice. It is in the Passover that Christ’s blood and body are mentioned in connection with the sacrifice of the paschal lamb. Both Paul and Peter make the link between Christ and the paschal lamb (1 Cor. 5:7-8 1 Peter 1:18-19) In the Gospel of Luke Christ makes a statement signifying his blood is the part of a new covenant. (Luke 22:20) In saying that his blood will be poured out, Christ is making reference to the sacrificial language of the Old Testament (Lev. 4:7, 18, 25, 30, 34).

For the apostle Paul the atonement of Christ was not only a historical fact but a critical part of Christian life. In some of his earliest writings to the Saints in Galatia and Corinth Paul reminds his converts that Jesus died for their sins according to the prophecies found in the scriptures. (1 Cor. 15:3; Gal. 1:4) It is the epistles of Paul that the doctrine of Atonement is more fully expounded and recorded.

It is in Paul’s writings that an early Christian understanding of Christ’s sacrifice can be found. It is this reconciliation with God that often makes up some part of the theme of each of his epistles. For Paul reconciliation between God and humanity only occurs through Christ. (Rom. 5:1-11) It is Christ’s sinless life that allows him to be the bridge between a fallen human and God. (2 Cor. 5:21) Without the penal substitution of Christ each person would have to face the wrath of God’s justice for their actions in mortality. (Rom. 5:9; 2 Cor. 5:10) Because Christ had to suffer the wrath and justice of God fallen humanity does not. (Rom. 5:8-10) The blood and death of Christ is what allows the justice of God to be reconciled with the mercy of God. (Rom. 3:25) The atoning blood of Christ is what allows a person to move on toward sanctification. (Eph. 5:26-27)

(Scriptures regarding the Atonement: Explained: Rom. 5:8-11; 2 Cor. 5:18-19; Foreordained: Rom. 3:25;1 Peter 1:11, 20; Foretold: Isa. 53:4-6, 8-12; Dan. 9:24-27; Zech. 13:1,7; Effected by Christ alone: John 1:29, 36; Voluntary: Heb. 10:5-9; John 10:11, 15, 17-18; Exhibits the grace and mercy of God: Rom. 8:32; Eph 2:4-5, 7; 1 Tim. 2:4; Heb. 2:9; Exhibits the love of God: Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:9-10; Exhibits the love of Christ: John 15:13; Gal. 2:20; Eph 5:2, 25; Reconciles the justice and mercy of God: Rom. 3:25-26; Necessity of: Luke 19:10; Heb 9:22; Made only once: Heb:7:27; 9:24-28; 10:10,12,14; 1 Pet. 3:18; Remission of sins: John 1:29; Rom. 3:25; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7; Rev. 1:5; Justification: Rom. 5:9; 2 Cor. 5:21 Sanctification: 2 Cor. 5:15; Eph 5:26-27; Redemption: Matt. 20:28; Acts 20:28; 1 Tim 2:6; Heb 9:12; Delivers from power of sin: Rom. 8:3; 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Power of Satan: Coloss. 2:15; Heb. 2:14-15; Faith in, indispensable: Rom. 3:25; Gal 3:13-14)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Challenge of Jesus

I just finished reading N.T. Wright's The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering Who Jesus Was and Is. I think that Wright stretches too far sometimes when he tries to tie most of Christ teachings to the exile and restoration of Israel. overall his book should be read by Christians who seek to understand the perspective of a first century Jew and what those individuals may have thought when they heard Jesus teaching. The last two chapters of the book is where I found the real gold of his writings and I share the following.

"If you are to shape your world in following Christ, it is not enough to say that being a Christian and being a professional or an academic (to address these worlds particularly for the moment) is about high moral standards, using every opportunity to talk to people about Jesus, praying for or with your students, being fair in your grading and honest in your speaking. All that is vital and necessary, but you are called to something much, much more. You are called, prayerfully, to discern where in your discipline the human project is showing signs of exile and humbly and boldly to act symbolically in ways that declare that the powers have been defeated, that the kingdom has come in Jesus the Jewish Messiah, that the new way of being human has been unveiled, and to be prepared to tell the story that explains what these symbols are all about. And in all this you are to declare, in symbol and praxis, in story and articulate answers to questions, that Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not; that Jesus is Lord and Marx, Freud and Nietzsche are not; that Jesus is Lord and neither modernity nor post modernity is. When Paul spoke of the gospel, he was not talking primarily about a system of salvation but about the announcement, in symbol and word, that Jesus is the true Lord of the world, the true light of the world." (pg 187)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Squirrel in Church

In one of my seminary classes the professor just shared this video. I have to pass it along.

I can't help but smile.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What Religion Boils Down To

"If Christ cannot be glimpsed in the followers of Christianity, they should admit their religion is a mistake and stop faking it; Muslim's should not advocate Islam until Muslim against Muslim carnage ends and Salaam Aleikum becomes a reality in true submission to God's will; If Hindus want to prove their religion is the Sanatan Dharm, why not break free from Samsara by revolting en masse against India's caste system? That will eliminate a far more insidious form of apartheid than South Africa's, because the caste system persists in the guise of religion." -Frank Raj

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A friend of mine pointed me to this video. It made me laugh so I wanted to share it. Enjoy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Video of Me Preaching

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD;
Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.

He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Have you ever felt that when you pray that God picks up but then puts you on hold. Or that all you get is His voice mail. Have you ever felt alone or abandoned by God?

When we wake up in the morning sometimes we don’t want to get out of bed. I’m not talking about when you have a hang over or stayed up to late. I’m talking about the morning when you wake up and don’t want to deal with family. When you don’t want to go to work. The kind of morning when you just want to turn on your side and go back to sleep.

I can’t speak for all of you but I know I have. I’ve had those feelings.

Its called depression.

You might be thinking, “hold on a second, a true blue, dyed in wool Christian, isn’t supposed to get depressed.”

Well, being a Christians doesn’t make us immune to our moods going up and down. It’s part of going through life. We can’t help but have ups and downs. Its part of being human

I was at a pretty low point in my life and someone told me that I really loved the Lord and had faith that I shouldn’t feel depressed. I shouldn’t be sad. This person told me, “There’s no depression in the Bible,” so turn that frown upside down.

Well, first I wanted to punch the person in the face. I got over that and got to thinking.

There is depression in the bible. There’s a lot of it.

Moses begged God to kill him. Jesus became so sorrowful and suffered excruciating agony before his arrest. He wept before he raised Lazarus from the dead.

If you are human, if you have blood in your viens and skin on your bones, your moods are going to go up and down. We’re gonna have bad day and we’re gonna have good days. Those days may even drag into weeks or months sometimes.

There have been times in my life when I could only hope that God was listening to my beggings and pleadings. That he was hearing my calls for help.

Depression can be a like a fog that moves in slowly or hits us all of the sudden.

Sometimes the fog that hits us all of the sudden the loss of a husband, wife. A son,or daughter. A mother or father. When we face these losses we’re forced to confront the deepest of truths and the darkest of our fears. That’s when the fog of depression rolls in.

We may even at times wish to call out my God my God why have you forsaken me.

In the Bible there is a story about a prophet named Elijah, a queen named Jezebel, and the prophets of Baal:

A foreign queen, Jezebel, had married Ahab, the king of Israel. She brought with her hundreds of prophets of Baal. Baal was a pagan god.

When she arrived in Israel, she tried to establish a mission there and was doing a good job of it. Jezebel was a manipulative, mean, devilish woman. Ahab was a weak king, and things were not working very well for him or Israel or the God of Israel.

So Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest. It was a winner-take-all contest. They went to Mount Carmel and built two altars, one to Baal and one to Jehovah. The rules were that the prophets of Baal would sacrifice the bull and do their thing, and then Elijah would do the same on the altar to Jehovah. The god who brought the fire to the altar would be the god that Israel would worship.

So the 450 pagan preachers did their thing -- they beat their drums, they prayed, they danced, they called on Baal, but nothing happened; and, finally, they gave up. Then it was Elijah's turn. He put the sacrifice on the altar and poured buckets of water over it to demonstrate his confidence in God's power. He prayed and God sent the fire that consumed the sacrifice. Jehovah was obviously the victor. Then he killed the 450 priests of Baal. When Jezebel received word of this, she was furious and sent word to Elijah that she would have someone do the same to him.

Now here was a man who had scored the greatest victory of his life. He had called down fire, embarrassed the opposition, and had 450 pagan priests killed. He was riding high, and all of a sudden, one word from a defiant queen sent chills up and down his spine. So what did he do? He started running because he was afraid of Jezebel. This happened in northern Israel, and he ran past Jezreel and got all the way to Beersheba to the south. And he was so exhausted that he collapsed.

Then God sent an angel to him in the night. The angel said, "Arise and eat." The angel said that to him twice and then fed him. Elijah got up, took care of his body, and then he was instructed to go down to Mount Sinai, about another 150 miles. When he arrived there, he still wasn't relieved of his fear and depression. He stood in the mouth of the cave and watched the lightning and the storms. God wasn't there, he determined. Then he heard God in a still, small voice say, "Go back to Israel by the way of Damascus. Anoint Elisha to follow you. There are 7,000 people waiting for you to come. They are the people of God who have remained faithful."

I have told you the story, painting a verbal canvas for you. Now let's pull out the three pegs to hang the lesson on. This will help us when the fog of depression rolls in.

Remember, the first thing God said to Elijah was "get up." In a sense, take care of yourself. I will guarantee you this: If you want to be depressed, the first step on the road to depression is to let your body get depleted.

Elijah had neglected to take care of himself physically and this had resulted in an emotional collapse. Body and soul are connected as one, and when we neglect self-care, the fog rolls in.

The body must be cared for in order to prevent the fog of depression from overtaking us. So, get up and take care of yourself: Eat, sleep and exercise.

Next Elijah, standing in the mouth of the cave at Sinai, realized that God spoke in the still small voice - not the earthquake - wind and fire. And he began to reestablish his relationship with God. This prevented the "fog" from overtaking him. So, look up. God loves us, even when dark moods overtake us and God is still speaking quietly to us.

Finally, God makes it clear to Elijah that he was not alone. Dark moods, depression, the "fog" make us feel that we are one against the world.

One night I dreamed a dream.
I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.

"Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I'm aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don't understand why, when I need You most, You leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you."[1]

Elijah is reminded by God that there are 7,000 in Israel who are still loyal to their God, and he is to link up with them. When the dark moods overtake us, we need other people.

Our faith is a plural faith. Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together, I'll be with them." It is not a singular faith as reflected in the country-western song "Me and Jesus, We'll Get By." We are not complete without our Christian family. To beat away the "fog," we must link up.

Elijah gives us a clear path to surviving when the "fog" that descends on us: Get up, look up, link up.

And let's remember that we can act our way into a new way of feeling easier than we can feel our way into a new way of acting.

[1] Margaret Fishback Powers, 1964 (accessed 4/7/2011)

Church and Starbucks

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Holy War Cry

Psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life. (NIV)

A Holy War Cry


Start the day with a Holy War cry unto the Lord.

I want each of you to give a holy War cry. You call that a war cry.

Since the days when our ancestors pounded on each other with wooden clubs there have been battle cries. A battle cry was intended to show the enemy how determined and hostile their opponent was. The purpose of a battle cry was to frighten an enemy into fleeing before the battle even started.

With that in mind, when we wake up in the Morning, Satan should know that we awoke because of our war cry. Satan should start shaking in his boots because a Christian has awakened. The gates of hell should tremble, knowing that a committed Christian is on the warpath, looking to kick butt and take names.

A Christian’s life is more than just a journey; Christian life involves spiritual warfare. We are in a war, fighting for God or against him. In the morning, we decide if we are the new person who committed their life to Christ. The new person who is fighting to kill the old person, or are we to be the old person who wants to live life by their own rules?

In this war there is no middle ground. There are No Neutral parties. We are either with God or we are against him.

Every day when we wake up, we should wake up ready to battle against Satan and the old us. Every day, our goal should be “how can we give Satan a black eye and break the chains that link our old life to our new life?”

Since we are at War, we need to train everyday that we aren’t in battle to be ready for the next battle we have to fight. There is an adage that many of you may have heard: “The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in War.”

The psalmist realized that if he was to keep his life in line with God's Word, there would be a struggle – and he needed to train. He turned to his leader and begged for more training, so he could be prepared to fight. This is why he said to the Lord, “Teach me; lead me.” He was turning to his leader, saying, “Help me train for my battles. Help me do my part to win the war.”

One attribute any good warrior has is discipline. I was taught that discipline is instant willingness and obedience to orders.

We should be obedient to God because it’s something we love to do. When’s the last time you saw a parent have to make a child eat ice cream! We might have to make a child eat their vegetables, but we have trouble keeping them away from the cookie jar. We might have to make them practice their piano lessons, but we won't have to force him to run and fetch our wallet when we get ready to give them their allowance. In our willingness to be obedient to God, we should be as eager as the child seeking ice cream or their parent’s wallet.

Obeying God should not be something we have to be made to do. It should be something we do without thinking. It should be so ingrained in us that we follow the commandments before we even think about it. If we love God, why would we have to be made to walk along a path we delight in?

We have to, because we battle against ourselves. We are not comprised of one person but rather two. There is the old person we were before we found Christ, and there is the new person who we want to be now, that we know Christ.

The new person loves the path that God’s commandments help us walk down and the old person doesn’t, and so, the fight is on.

In this battle we swing back and forth between the old man and the new man. One day we have the discipline needed to be obedient and several days later the old person wins. And we go back and forth. The new person seeking to turn to God fully, and the old person hunting for a return to a life of drugs, sex and rock ’n’ roll.

The old person desires to slip back into being too proud, telling lies, looking at pornography, sleeping around, getting drunk and stirring up trouble at work and at home.

If we want the new person to win the battle more often we need to have discipline. We should echo the words of Lord Tennyson, “Ours is not to make reply, ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die.”

It is discipline that allows a person to make such a statement.

In this struggle between the new person and the old person there is no quarter. There is no retreat back to safe ground. In the end, there can be only one. Either the new person or the old person will be triumphant.

That’s why we should say as the Psalmist did, “Lord, I need your discipline. A discipline higher than anything I currently possess. Lord, I need you to help me walk in the path of Your commandments.” That is the mark of a true believer, an obedient child.

The psalmist wanted God to help him be obedient. He asked, “God give me your strength to wage my war. Turn me away from the person I was. Help me follow You.”

The difference between the old person and the new can be seen in difference between the prodigal's going-away petition and his coming-home petition: Going away he just said, "Father, give me..." Returning home, he humbly begged, "Father, make me as one of your servants…"

The man or woman who can say to God, “Father, make me one of your servants” is a true believer.

There are those who read it and forsake it…rebelling against God's Word. There are those who read it and forget it… simply allowing it to be crowded out of their lives. There are those who read it and are wise enough to want to live it

We need to be warriors who battle to keep their lives in line with the Word of God. We need to train for battle against the old person we were. We need to start every day with a war cry to the Lord. Amen.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mormon Temples and Catholic Sacraments


Aspects of worship in Roman Catholic Church[1] are rooted in ancient Christian practice. Likewise Latter-day Saint (LDS) temple worship is also grounded in ancient Christian practice. Both of these world religions should therefore have in their worship Sacraments rites and ordinances that are similar.[2] The purpose and intent of this paper is to discuss Catholic and LDS Sacraments, rites and ordinances and allow the reader to compare them.[3] Through a discussion of the Sacraments, rites and ordinances of these two faiths, the reader should be able to draw out the similarities in the following areas: questions regarding worthiness, entrance into the Church, the sacrament of Baptism and washings and anointings, Holy Orders and LDS temple clothing, the sacrament of Matrimony and celestial marriage, the Mass, Eucharist, and the endowment.

Latter-day Saint temple rites and ordinances and Catholic rites and Sacraments should be viewed as things that are sacred and holy. The word sacred comes from an obsolete past participle, sacren, which means “to make holy.” Sacren comes from an even earlier old French word sacrer which has its roots in the Latin word sacrare and sacer, which is “to make sacred, consecrate . . . dedicated and holy.”[4] The Oxford dictionary defines sacred as something that is “connected with God” or “regarded with great respect and reverence by a particular religion, group, or individual.”[5] Merriam-Webster defines sacred as something that is “worthy of religious veneration” or something that is “entitled to reverence and respect.”[6] These meanings imply that something that is sacred should be considered holy or hallowed. No part of these explanations implies a need for silence on the part of those who view something as sacred. Both LDS temple worship and Catholic rites and sacraments fall within those definitions.

Catholic Sacraments and the LDS Temple

The Holy Sacraments of Catholicism “are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which divine life is dispensed to us. The visible rites, by which the sacraments are celebrated, signify and make present the graces proper to each sacrament. They bear fruit in those who receive them with the required dispositions.”[7] There are seven sacred sacraments in the Catholic Church: Baptism, Confirmation, the Holy Eucharist, Reconciliation,[8] Anointing of the Sick,[9] Holy Orders, and Matrimony.[10] The purposes of sacraments within the Catholic Church are “to sanctify men, to build up the Body of Christ and, finally, to give worship to God. Because they are signs they also instruct. They not only presuppose faith, but by words and objects they also nourish, strengthen, and express it.”[11]

There are few things that have captured the interest of Mormons and non-Mormons alike more than the temple and its ceremonies. The reluctance of Church members to discuss the temple has only fueled this fire[12] and left the modern world void of any true discussion of what happens in the temple. This has left critics of the Church free to defame and misrepresent LDS temple worship to both members and non members who may have questions about the Church beliefs.[13] The advent of the internet has heralded an era where in a matter of a few seconds information can be accessed. M. Russell Ballard spoke of the need for Latter-day Saints to define and expound on what the Church teaches, instead of having critics define our doctrine.[14] Conversations are occurring on the internet without the participation of Latter-day Saints.[15]

Often Latter-day Saints are reluctant to speak of the temple in any language other than broad, general terms. This kind of language does not allow a person interested in Latter-day Saint temple worship to learn very much. A Latter-day Saint will often simply say that the temple is not secret but that it is sacred. Because what happens in the temple is sacred to Latter-day Saints, they do not speak of it for varied reasons.[16] The idea of not speaking of sacred things is noteworthy but somewhat misunderstood.[17] Personal testimonies or conversion experiences are examples of things that are sacred but nevertheless are shared by Latter-day Saints. Sacred things should not be spoken of in the company of those who will not hold sacred things as sacred.[18] If one wishes to speak of sacred things it should be to the right person, at the right time, and in the right setting.[19]

The temple is a culmination of LDS theology that provides a fusion of Mormon beliefs concerning the purpose of life,[20] the origin of man and the creation of this world, and is taught in a sacred ceremony that allows saints to symbolically be reunited with God for a brief time as they are obedient to the commands of God.[21] Temple worship is perhaps the most ritualistic aspect of the Mormon tradition. Found in the temple are ritualistic clothing, altars, changes in lighting that are allegories, metaphors and symbols. Within the temple, Latter-day Saints are washed and anointed, receive an endowment, and sealed in marriage.

Questions Regarding Worthiness

Catholics are required to attend[22] confession at least once a year even if they go to church frequently.[23] Even at the time of Baptism and before, questions are asked pertaining not only to worthiness but also where the person stands regarding the doctrines and theology of the Roman Church.[24] Circumstances are also similar when a person would become a monk or nun. They would face “certain interrogations” concerning the way they lived and what they believed.[25]

Before Latter-day Saints are allowed to worship and participate in the temple, they must first face an interview from their bishop regarding worthiness and belief in doctrine.[26] During this questioning, the bishop or stake president explores with the member their pattern of life, establishing if the person is living a life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. These questions cover the basic areas of conviction, behavior, and self assessment. If something is amiss in a person’s life, this interview is a place where a common judge in Israel can help them resolve it and help facilitate repentance.[27] Most Latter-day Saints who are raised in the Church normally begin temple worship[28] in their late teens or early twenties. People who convert to Mormonism normally have a waiting period of one year before they are allowed to go to the temple.[29]

Entrance and Participation Limited

Entrance and participation in the Church has been limited historically. Since the Catholic Church was persecuted by the Roman authorities, steps were taken not only to protect the church but also to limit who was allowed to witness the services conducted in the Church. A “porter” “who stood at the door to see that only worthy and reliable persons entered.” [30] The last remnant of this can be seen in the statues of angels, saints, and other creatures that stand guard at the entrances of churches.

In the early Catholic Church, people who had not become members in full standing were called Catechumens. The danger the early Church faced was that in times of persecution an individual might apostatize or even betray the Church. To combat this serious danger, the Church instituted instruction to prepare a person both intellectually and morally to “guard against the arguments of pagan philosophers and . . . to give strength against the torments of persecutors.”[31]

In the case of adult converts, there is a division between those who are merely inquirers and those who are catechumens. In the early Church if an individual sought to learn more about the Church, “he had to show he was earnest about” learning. During this stage, the individual was not considered a Christian. When the inquirer satisfied his instructors that the likelihood of him or her falling away was negligent, they were promoted to the rank of catechumen. During their time as a catechumen individuals had to show that they were abstaining from pagan worship and immorality. The council of Elvira alluded to the time an individual remained a catechumen (around two years). The third phase was when individuals became competente. They had shown through diligence that they were willing to persevere and had been enlightened into the mysteries of the faith. The individual then receives seven scruitinies. [32] After this, the candidate is anointed on the chest and back. The candidates renounced Satan and were then baptized, confirmed and partook of the Eucharist.

Baptism and Washings and Annointings

Both Latter-day Saints and Catholics believe that it is a requirement for a man or woman to be baptized if they are to be saved in the kingdom of God. For Catholics, baptism is the introductory Sacrament that allows a man or woman to begin their Christian life. For Mormons, baptism is the first saving ordinance they take part in. The temple ordinance of washing and anointing bears a closer similarity to the Catholic Sacrament of Baptism when Chrism and the first oil of Catechumens are included. In both rites men and women are washed and anointed and pronounced clean. Both rites are symbolic of a new phase of Christian life and often in both traditions new names are given. What will follow is first a discussion of Catholic baptism and subsequent annointings followed by an examination of LDS washings and anointing.

The Sacrament of Baptism and Other Things

Baptism is performed as a symbol of “washing and purification.”[33] Baptism is beginning of the sacramental journey in Catholicism. The candidate[34] is given new clothes, a candle to light their way, water to help them grow and oil for strength and companions to accompany them through a life lifetime of Christian commitment and discipleship,[35] however, after being anointed with water, the ordinance is still not complete until two anointings with consecrated oil occur. These anointings are first, Oil of Catechumens[36] and second, the Oil of Chrism.[37] These anointings serve to strengthen a person for a “lifetime journey of commitment to discipleship with Christ.”[38]

The Chrism has been blessed by a bishop and shows that the new Christian shares the mission of Christ as a priest, prophet, and king. The prayer that accompanies the anointing is as follows: “God the Father of our lord Jesus Christ has freed you from sin given you a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and welcomed you into his holy people he now anoints you with the chrism of salvation As Christ was anointed priest, prophet and king so may you live always as a member of his body sharing everlasting life”[39]

Cyril of Jerusalem related the significance of this anointing; “the oil is applied symbolically to your forehead and your other senses and you were first anointed on the forehead then on your ears then on the nostrils afterwards on your breast.”[40] The priest applies his thumb to the ear and mouth of person and says a prayer where he blesses the person to hear the word of God and be willing to proclaim his or her faith.

This ordinance in the sixth century was performed as follows: “I sign your forehead. . . I sign your eyes so that they may see the glory of God. I sign your ears so that you may hear the voice of the Lord. I sign your nostrils so that you may breathe the fragrance of Christ. I sign your lips so that you may speak the words of life. I sign your heart so that you may believe in the Holy Trinity. I sign your shoulders so that you may bear the yoke of Christ’s service in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost so that you may live forever and ever (saeculum saeculborum)”[41] At the time of confirmation, sacred oil is applied to the “forehead, the eyes, ear, the nose, mouth, chest, the hands and the feet, to cleanse them from sin committed through their use.”[42]

After the anointing in the Roman rite, the person who was anointed is reborn and is given new white clothing in symbolism of purity and sinlessness. At an infant’s baptism, the infant is given a new white dress, and the priest says, “you have become a new creation and have clothed yourself in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of your Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into the everlasting life of heaven.”[43]

In Catholic tradition, it is the practice of some that any notable change in condition, should be accompanied by a new name that is given.[44] It is also symbolic of a new life that the person is entering into. The name that is chosen by the candidate is normally a name that his held in reverence and honor. Also at baptism, there can be a new name given. An example of this can be found in the Acts of St. Balsamus. “By my paternal name, I am called Balsamus, but by the spiritual name which I received at baptism, I am known as Peter.”[45] Saint John Chrysostom believed that the name given a person should not be to “gratify fathers or grandfathers or other family connections by giving their names, but rather choose the names of holy men conspicuous for virtue and for their courage before God.”[46]

When monks or nuns entered into the monastery or covenant they accept a new name, normally a saint.[47] Also, the Pope assumes a new name when he enters his office. The first Pope to take a new papal name was Pope John II, because he felt his Christian name of Mercurius was inappropriate. Pope John II felt this way because the successor to St. Peter should not carry the name of a deity belonging to a pagan religion.

Washings and Anointings

Latter-day saints are washed with pure water and anointed with holy oil in sacred rites within the temple. They are washed and anointed symbolically. The blessings of this ordinance can be categorized into three different areas: spiritual, intellectual and physical. Patrons are washed and anointed to think clearly, to discern the words of God, to perceive between reality and falsehoods, to abstain from speaking deceivingly and to hold true to virtuous principles. Latter-day Saints are also blessed to bear the burdens they will face in life and to run and not be weary and walk and not be tired. Internal organs are also blessed symbolically to function correctly and be strong and healthy. Lastly the washing and anointing blesses Saints to be able to justly defend truth and virtue and to multiply and replenish the earth.[48]

Joseph Smith taught that a new name was preparatory to receiving endowments.[49] Latter-day Saints are given a new name that they are told to always remember, that the new name is sacred and they are told to never reveal that name except in the temple.[50] Within Latter-day Saint theology it is believed that Noah is also named Gabriel, that Adam is also named Michael, and that Jesus Christ was named Jehovah.[51] It should also be noted that Abram’s name was changed to Abraham.[52] In the Book of Mormon, Laminates who converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ became Anti-Nephi-Lehies.[53] Saul’s name was changed to Paul. Jacob was given the name Israel. Also at baptism Christians take the name of Christ in symbolism of committing their life to Christ. A new name is often symbolic of “a new identity. . . a new life,” and “a new beginning. It’s a refreshing of things.” [54] A new name can also be symbolic of “a special call, marked by the reception of [the] new name, which denotes the conferring of a special divine mission.”[55]

Holy Orders, Catholic Vestments and LDS Temple Clothing

The dress of the Catholic clergy bears remarkable similarity to the clothing worn by Latter-day Saints in the temple. Catholic vestments according to Marriott should be, “appropriate to the most solemn offices of the holy ministry.” “During the primitive age,” we find recognition of white vestments as being “proper garb of Christian ministry.”[56] John Widstoe said of the clothing that Latter-day Saints wear in the temple that “all are dressed alike in white. White is the symbol of purity. . . . The uniform dress symbolizes that before God our Father in Heaven, all men are equal.” Everyone in the temple sits “side by side . . . and are of equal importance if they live righteously before the Lord God.”[57] The following two sections should allow the reader to examine in detail both Catholic clothing and LDS temple clothing.

Holy Orders and Catholic Vestments

Christ has made the entire Church “a kingdom, of priests for his God ad Father.”[58] Through the Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation the “faithful are consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood.”[59] The common priesthood of faithful is exercised through “a life of faith, hope and charity, a life” lived “according to the Spirit.”[60] Through the ministerial priesthood of Catholicism the priesthood of Christ is made manifest by the building up and the leading of the Church.

There are three orders of priesthood within Catholicism: Episcopal, Priests, and Deacons. Bishops are seen as the successors of the ancient apostles and as such only they can convey the sacrament of Holy Orders onto another person. A man who believes that God is calling him to the priesthood does not have a right to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders. They are under obligation to submit themselves to the authority of the Church which has the right to call someone to receive orders.[61]

Depending upon the rank of the Catholic clergy the color of their vestments differs. Also the material of the vestments differs. Also different parts of the Catholic vestments can only be worn by certain members of the clergy at certain times. Some parts of the vestments worn by Catholic clergy are a hats, girdles, stoles, simars, rochets, mozzettas and matellettas. All are symbolic of the authority of the priesthood of the wearer and as such strict limitations are placed on their wearing.

One writer chronicles a record of priestly headgear as being, “a square cap, with three corners or prominences rising from its crown, and having, for the most part, a tassel.”[62]A girdle or cincture is part of the Catholic vestments that is “like a sash” and signifies “promptitude in executing the commands of God, exactness in religious observances, and watchfulness in regard to our eternal salvation.”[63] Other items include a stole which is part of the full liturgical raiment that is worn around the shoulders but depending upon the degree of priesthood it is placed in different location on the body. A deacon wears it “over the left shoulder and fastened on the right side.”[64] While a priest or Bishop would “wear it crossed over his breast.”[65] While a member who holds the priesthood is dressing in this stole they say a prayer asking that the “immortality which I lost through the transgression of my first parents”[66] be restored. The stole is also a symbol being in the service of Christ or in taking on the yoke of Christ. Catholic clergy also wear the simar which is “a kind of ecclesiastical morning gown. However, during the past century, it became customary to wear it outside of the house.”[67] The simar has thirty three buttons each symbolizing a year of Jesus Christ’s earthly life. There are also five buttons that are placed on each cuff that are symbolic of the five wounds that Christ received. Monks and nuns also take a habit when they make the covenants as they enter into their new lives.[68]

Another interesting note is that clergy, chiefly nuns and monks are buried in the vestments.[69] Priests are also buried in “cassock and the apparel appropriate to his rank also with the tonsure and biretta.”[70] “All prelates who are entitled by law to wear the mitre – Cardinals, Bishops and Abbots – should be buried with the mitre on; those who wear it by general or special privilege, as Prelates and Canons, should not be laid out and buried with the mitre on, but with the biretta.”[71] Priests are buried in their vestments because “a priestly or Episcopal character is what is the most important in the person of an ecclesiastic, and, according to the teaching of the Church, is destined to last forever, the law is that the body of a dead priest or Bishop should be dressed in his sacerdotal or Episcopal vestments. . . . By sacerdotal or Episcopal vestments, we mean such ornaments as the Prelate or priest should put on while preparing for the celebration of solemn High Mass, which is the greatest act that a Prelate or priest can perform.”[72]

Latter-day Saint temple Clothing and Vestments

Latter-day Saint temple clothing is patterned after the vestments of the Aaronic priesthood found in Exodus 28. The high priest wore a robe, an ephod, a girdle, and a miter. Latter-day Saints wear a robe, an apron, a sash. Men wear a cap and women a veil. [73] Both men and women wear white slippers in similitude of Moses removing his shoes when he was on holy ground. Latter-day Saint women wear white dresses and men wear white shirts, pants and ties. Latter-day Saints who have been endowed are buried in their temple clothing.

Latter-day Saints receive underclothes called garments after they are washed and anointed. Latter-day Saints are instructed to wear the garment throughout their life.[74] Latter-day Saints are given a covenant from the Lord that if they are true and faithful to the covenants they have made and will make, their garment will serve as a protection both temporally and spiritually.[75]

The garment is not only a reminder of the covenants made in the temple but also serves as a symbol to teach different truths.[76] The garment can serve to remind Latter-day Saints of Christ’s atonement.[77] The garment also is an allusion to the people who are clothed in “white raiment’s.” [Rev 3:4-55] The garment is a covering of nakedness that can be seen as an admonition to prepare for judgment. The garment is also a reminder to Latter-day Saints to be chaste and modest. The garment is a reminder that Saints rely ultimately upon Christ to provide for them.[78] Lastly when a person is clothed in the garment they are enacting numerous scriptural metaphors.[79]

Matrimony and Celestial Marriage

Marriage for both Catholics and Latter-day Saints finds its authorship in God. Both ordinances can only be performed by a person who has the right from God to do so. Both Catholics and Mormons hold that God has ordained that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Catholics and Latter-day Saints both kneel at a holy altar when they are married. In both faiths marriage is an institution that should be transformative and enduring.

The Sacrament of Matrimony

Marriage within the Catholic tradition establishes a bond between man and woman. In the Catholic tradition “God himself is the author of Marriage.”[80] Marriage is not a human institution but a divine institution. “Both human and Christian society is closely bound up with the healthy state of conjugal and family life.” The union of man and woman is symbolic of God’s “absolute and unfailing” love for mankind. Marriage is symbolic of the relationship that is found between the Incarnation of God and the human race.[81]

The altar is the central place of worship and ritual in the Catholic Church. It is the place where covenants and vows are made before God.[82] The Marriage promise is “ratified by the ring, the kiss, and the handclasp of the couple,” with “joined hands on the gospel book.”[83] Consent within matrimony for Catholics means that a man or woman needs to be baptized, and to be free from constraint and not “impeded by natural law or ecclesiastical law.” Man and woman take each other as husband and wife and become one flesh. Marriage “aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul.” The marriage of two practicing Catholics ideally takes place during the Mass. The Sacrament of Marriage includes a “bond between the spouses which is perpetual and exclusive” it “is sealed by God Himself.”[84]

Sealings or Celestial Marriage

The zenith of temple worship for many Latter-day Saints is the sealing ordinance between man and woman. In this sacred ordinance men and women are married through the priesthood for not only their lives here on earth but also in heaven. The purpose of this ordinance is to tie together father and son, mother and daughter, and the living and the dead from all generations of man. This tying together could not be accomplished without the power of God sanctioning and authorizing it. The feelings that should overcome the easily spoken words of the sealing are ones of profound responsibility, opportunity for self and the power and weight of the authority that is present.[85] Celestial marriage for those involved becomes a kind of divinely inspired stewardship between husband and wife. The sealing of husband and wife sustain family life and help to give strength and courage in times of death.

The marriage is performed in one of the sealing rooms of the temple. In the center of the room there is an altar. There are mirrors in most sealing rooms behind both the bride and groom. These mirrors give the illusion of eternity. The groom will kneel on one side of the altar and the bride on the other. The sealer then who is at the head of the altar will then marry the couple. The ceremony is rather quick. The sealer asks both the bride and groom if they are willing to keep the commandments and covenants they have made. They answer in the affirmative in the presence of “God and angels”[86] that they will do so, the sealer then seals them in marriage.[87]

The Mass, Eucharist and Endowment

For the believing Catholic the celebration and progression of the Mass and Holy Eucharist[88] ends fundamentally in the literal presence of God. The presence of God can be noted by the genuflecting and bowing found when a Catholic enters the church. For Latter-day Saints the temple endowment allows them for a short period of time to symbolically enter into the presence of God. The Mass and Endowment are both full of ritualistic behaviors that have their roots in ancient Christian worship that take the worshiper into the presence of God. What follows is first and examination of the Mass and Eucharist and then the LDS endowment.

The Mass and Eucharist

Medieval and Renaissance Church worship transformed churches into “unearthly places of glory. The best architects, sculptors, and painters were commissioned by the Church to build these “celestial ‘halls of state.”[89] It was hoped that people would feel as though they were in the presence of the God for a period of time. The intent was to make them feel for a short period of time like they were in heaven.

The most sacred thing that is celebrated in the Church is the sacrament of the Eucharist. It is here that all “Christians come together” to take part in the “Eucharistic celebration.”[90] In this celebration each person plays a role,[91] “readers, those who bring up the offerings, those who give communion, and the whole people whose ‘Amen’[92] manifests their participation.”[93] The Offertory is a remembrance of the sacrifice and commitment of Melchizedek. The altar in the Church represents not just the Lord’s table but also the altar of sacrifice on which Christ’s body lays and Christ Himself.[94] Overall the Eucharist is “thanksgiving and praise to the Father; the sacrificial memorial of Christ and his Body;” and “the presence of Christ by the power of his word and Spirit.”[95]

Processions from place to place inside of the Church and outside of the Church were intended to remind congregants of the “stages of life, the continual movement to a better and progressive state of being.”[96] In effect it was a “pilgrimage through this vale of misery.”[97] Banners representing Christ and Satan are present intending to represent one of two choices in leadership while a person goes through mortality. Throughout the ceremony the priest may remove some parts of his clothing and put on others.[98]

The priest at different times may represent different people in proxy. “Symbolically, the priest represents the people when he turns to the east, toward God, and he represents the Lord when he faces the faithful in the church.”[99] In the presence of a “higher being” the faithful “stood with hands uplifted and facing east. . . . with eyes fixed in the direction of the rising sun.”[100] In today’s worship the priest may say prayers with hands uplifted close to his body with elbows bent. During the Oremus, the Prefactus, the Canon, and the Pater Noster the priest “stands with his hands upraised . . . facing east, and originally the faithful , too, stood facing east and with arms lifted up”[101] petitioning the Lord. Anciently this was the manner that people prayed in.[102]

A ceremony that is suggestive of the creation is the old Paschal Vigil of the Catholic ritual at Easter time. This is the high point of the liturgical year within Catholic tradition. The rite began with the congregation sitting in complete darkness. From this gloomy darkness the “lux Christi” was lit and then the other candles were lit. As each member of the congregations candle was lit, they would exclaim shouts of joy and triumph and sing jubilantly. This seems to symbolize not only the celebration out of darkness but also Christ coming as a light to illuminate a dark world. The creation story was read as well as the account of the flood and the exodus out of Egypt. Parables about the progression of man that spoke to birth, rebirth, hope and despair were also told.[103]

In the early Church there was a practice of keeping men and women separated in the Church just as they were kept in different locations in the temple at Jerusalem.[104] During service in the Church women had either to stand on different sides of the aisle in the chapel or they were restricted to a balcony which overlooked he main assembly hall.[105] It was also considered proper for women to conceal their heads with a veil or some kind of covering during Mass.[106] This is a custom which has largely become obsolete but is still customary in some Catholic congregations of South America and Europe.[107]

The Endowment

The endowment is a dramatization of the Creation, the fall, and Adam and Adam and Eve’s subsequent trials in the lone and dreary world. It also covers the sending of angelic messengers to humanity.[108] The characters in this dramatization are God the Father, Jehovah (Jesus Christ) Michael the arch angel (Adam) Eve, Satan, and angelic messengers. [109] In the temple endowment latter-day Saints learn what they need to know that will allow them to pass by the angels guarding the entrance to heaven. [110]

In a very real sense the endowment is representative of an upward progression towards God culminating in a patron entering into the celestial room. [111] The endowment takes around seventy-five minutes to complete. In the LDS endowment men and women are seated separately.[112] Men are on one side of the room and women on the other. LDS women veil their faces during parts of the temple endowment. Saints are instructed to imagine that they are Adam or Eve. During the endowment Latter-day Saints move through different rooms to symbolize the progression of man. [113]

The drama records God instructing Jehovah to create the world. Jehovah then goes to Michael and informs him of the Father’s command.[114] Under the direction of God Jehovah and Michael create the earth. Creation begins by creating order out of chaos. The drama then goes through the creation account found in Genesis.[115] It also discusses the ministering of angelic messengers to Adam and Eve subsequent to the fall where they are instructed in the things they and their posterity must do to be readmitted to the father’s presence.[116]

There are many rooms in the temple. The rooms that are used in the endowment are a creation room, [117] a garden room[118], a Telestial room[119] which is a representation our fallen world that Adam and Eve were thrust into. From there Latter-day Saints move into a terrestrial room[120] and finally the celestial room[121]. Each of these rooms served as a visual representation of what Saints learn through the dramatization. The art work of early LDS temples shows the amazing dedication that Saints put into temples as well as the importance placed on visual aids to telling the purpose of life here on earth.

In the endowment Latter-Day Saints covenant to obey certain laws of the gospel.[122] Latter-day Saints make covenants of personal virtue, benevolence and of commitment to Christ’s kingdom. Saints covenant to be chaste, charitable, compassionate, tolerant, and pure. Further Saints are commanded not to gossip or speak ill of the Lord’s anointed. “They agree to devote their talents and means to spread the gospel, to strengthen the Church, and to prepare the earth for the return of Jesus Christ. Through personal promises to their Heavenly Father made in the . . . temple, the Saints expand the meaning of being a covenant people.”[123]

The culmination of the temple endowment for Latter-day Saints is when they are taken through a cloth veil that has separated them from the celestial room. Symbolically at this point for a limited period of time Latter-day saints have been granted entrance into the presence of God. In the celestial room Latter-day saints are given the opportunity to reflect on matters of importance in their lives.

The Celestial room in the LDS temple is easily the most ornate room in the temple. Symbolically for a Latter-day Saint entering the celestial symbolizes entering into the Kingdom and presence of God. The celestial room is typically the most brightly lit room of the temple symbolizing the glory of God. The celestial room is often higher in elevation than the rest of the rooms used in the endowment. The celestial room is a representation of God’s glory and in its exquisite beauty and serenity a person may not only meditate but feel the “the beauty of holiness.” [Psalms 29:2]


The Sacraments, rites and ordinates of both Catholicism and Mormonism are holy and sacred to those who hold them true. For both Mormons and Latter-day Saints these acts are efficacious signs of God’s grace. They are the way that the divine is made manifest in the lives of believers. They are acts that are worthy of respect and reverence. The authority of the priesthood is essential to both Mormons and Catholics for the Sacraments or ordinances to be operative. Both of these world religions believe their worship is based in the worship of the early Christian Church. While the meaning of the Sacraments and ordinances may differ the similarities between the Sacraments and ordinances are striking similar in many respects. Overall the reader should come away from with an understanding of what the history of the Sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church are and what Latter-day Saint temple worship is.

Appendix A

Things Latter-day Saints Might Find Interesting


Diptychs could be made of wood, ivory, bone or metal. They were often considered a “highly ornamented”[124] kind of notebook. The diptych would be read during the Divine Liturgy , Eucharist and by the Priest during the Liturgy of Preparation. One side of the diptych had the names of the living on it and the other side of the diptych had the names of the dead. Diptychs did not disappear from Catholic worship until the twelfth century.[125] The diptychs contained the names of those who were seriously ill or had special considerations that needed to prayed for.[126] These names were originally read aloud. The requiem mass may be the last hold over that may truly be a remnant of work for the dead in Catholic ritual and rite.

Prayer in the Temple

Prayer in the Latter-day Saint temple worship happens around an altar together as a group.[127] Upon the Altar there is a box that has names submitted by temple patrons of people they care about who are in need. Patrons assemble in the true order of prayer[128] and pray for the people whose names are in the box. They are instructed that if any in the circle harbor animosity toward another they should not participate in the prayer. According to a reminiscence of Zebedee Coltrin Latter-day Saints received instruction from Joseph Smith to “prepare their minds. He told them to kneel and pray with uplifted hands.”[129] They repeat the words of the temple officiator who leads the saints in prayer.

Prayer circles for Latter-day Saints are occasions where they can covenant to live more fully the commandments of the Lord.[130] The primary purpose of any prayer is to commune with God and to receive the instruction and influence of God.[131] A prayer circle allows men and women to gain great spiritual strength, facilitate the bonds of fellowship, loyalty and develop a greater sense of unity.

Knocking Three Times

During the year of Jubilee the “Pope carries out a . . . rite when he knocks three times with a golden hammer on the Holy Door.”[132] Typically the pope approaches the door and in Latin sings, “This gate of the Lord”, everyone who is assemble replies “into which the righteous shall enter.” The Pope then continues, “I will come into thy house Lord”, and everyone assembled responds “I will worship towards thy holy temple”. The pope then concludes with, “Open to me the gates of righteousness,” and all respond “I will go into them, and I will praise the Lord” After the three hammer strikes, the Holy Door is opened. The pope then enters, and the interior of the Basilica is fully illuminated in brilliant glory.[133]


[1] The Sacraments, and rites discussed herein will be taken from the Church prior to the 2nd Vatican Council. It should be noted by the reader that the Sacraments and rites described herein do not accurately reflect contemporary worship.

[2] Marcus von Wellnitz, “The Catholic Liturgy and the Mormon Temple,” BYU Studies 21:1 (Winter, 1981): 3-36 (accessed 7 Feb 2011)

[3] Some people may feel that discussing anything whatsoever that deals with the LDS temple ceremony in inappropriate. The only thing that Latter-day Saints covenant not to divulge are certain names, signs and tokens. These will not be addressed at all because they are things that I have covenanted not to disclose. accessed 3/8/2011

[4] Online Etymology Dictionary, “Sacred,” (accessed 7 Feb 2011)

[5] Oxford Dictionary, “Sacred,” (accessed 7 Feb 2011)

[6] Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Sacred,” (accessed 7 Feb 2011)

[7] Furthermore “The Holy Spirit prepares the faithful for the sacraments by the Word of God and the faith which welcomes that word in well disposed hearts. Thus the sacraments strengthen faith and express it.” “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Part 2, Section 1, Chapter 1, Article 2, In Brief (accessed 3/3/2011)

[8] This Sacrament will not be addressed in this work

[9] This Sacrament will not be addressed in this work

[10] “The seven sacraments touch all the stages and all the important moments of Christian life: they give birth and increase, healing and mission to the Christian’s life of faith. There is thus a certain resemblance between the stages of natural life and the stages of spiritual life.” “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Part 2, Section 2 (accessed 3/3/2011)

[11] “Catechism of the Catholic Church” Part 2. Section 1, Chapter 1, Article 2, III The Sacraments of Faith, (accessed 3/3/2011)

[12] Examples of this can be seen by a simple search of the internet. Websites exist that purported purpose is to inform people about Latter-day Saint temple worship. In reality these sites put a spin on the LDS temple worship that does not treat what happens in the temple as sacred but at times with blatant contempt and at other times with subtle derision.

[13] This lack of conversation defining what Mormons truly believe has left sacred things to be explained or defined by those who don’t know what they are talking about or have an axe to grind against the Church. The result of this has been a gross misinterpretation or even worse defilement of the sacred. An example of this can be seen by a simple Google search of Mormon temples. This search provides very little information to a person seeking to understand why the temple is sacred but provides a plethora of misinformation.

[14] "Conversations will continue whether or not we choose to participate in them. But we cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the church teaches." M. Russell Ballard, “Using Media to Support the Work of the Church” Brigham Young University Hawaii, Commencement Address, Dec 15, 2007 (accessed 7 Feb 2011)

[15] M. Russell Ballard, “Using Media to Support the Work of the Church” Brigham Young University Hawaii, Commencement Address, Dec 15, 2007 (accessed 7 Feb 2011) The debate to declare the word of the Lord by ardent members of the church can be seen in the war of words that has ensued over the page concerning Latter-day Saints. The Deseret News published an article that expresses the growing need for active Latter-day Saints to participate in conversations that are taking place. Michael De Groote, “Wiki Wars: In battle to define beliefs, Mormons and foes wage battle on Wikipedia.” Deseret News, 30 Jan 2011, (accessed 7 Feb 2011)

[16] Boyd K. Packer explains, “The ordinances and ceremonies of the temple are simple. They are beautiful. They are sacred. They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. Curiosity is not a preparation. Deep interest itself is not a preparation. Preparation for the ordinances includes preliminary steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, worthiness, a maturity and dignity worthy of one who comes invited as a guest into the house of the Lord.” Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple, ”,11707,2028-1,00.html (accessed 1 March 2011)

[17] In speaking of things that are sacred they should be shared only with people who will respect them. That means talking to the right person, at the right time, and in the right setting are all prerequisites of talking about and sharing the sacred. “No person is at liberty to reveal anything that takes place here to any mortal upon the face of the earth, anythin unless they know that person to be a good one, and one that the Lord is well pleased with.”Brigham Young as recorded in William Clayton in Diary kept for Heber C. Kimball 2 January 1846

[18] At almost every door they knock at LDS missionaries share the story of how God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. This is a sacred event but is spoken and shared with almost anyone a Mormon meets. Another frequently shared sacred event is the atonement and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ. These sacred events are shared by Latter-day Saints and these sacred things are not only rejected but often scoffed at and or ridiculed. If Latter-day Saints do not share things about the temple which they believe are sacred why do they then share these far more sacred events knowing the consequences?

[19] Brigham Young approved a motion to publish the “the Endowments or an outline of it.”Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 5: 124. Furthermore a person should rely on the promptings of the Holy Spirit to help decide what to share and who to share it with.

[20] “He said doubtless with most of the present assembly it is the beginning of a new era, in their lives – they have come to place the time they never saw before. . . The scenery through which you have passed is actually putting you in laying before you a picture or map by which you are to travel through life, and obtain an entrance into the celestial kingdom hereafter.” Amasa Lyman, as sited in 21 Dec 1845 William Clayton Diary

[21] What is taught in the LDS temple ordinances and rites can be seen not only in the Bible but in apocalyptic and pseudepigrphical literature. These teach the existence of a multiplicity of Gods, the creation out of Chaos instead of ex nilo, the pre existence of spirits before they came to Earth, the creation of the earth, of a general battle between good and evil, the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve, the necessity of opposites, Satan being cast out of heaven with those who follow him, The fall of Adam and Eve, spirits needing vicarious ordinances , the resurrection, the millennial Kingdom of God, the role that prophets play, and certain key secretes and mysteries that are required for earnest seekers to enter heaven. David John Buerger, “The Development of the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony,” Dialouge,20 (Winter 1987), 7Joseph Smith gave a sermon on 1 May 1842 that had overtones referring to temple worship, “The keys are certain signs and words. . .which cannot be revealed. . .till the Temple is completed—The rich can only get them in the Temple. . . .There are signs in heaven, earth, and hell, the Elders must know them all to be endowed with power. . . .The devil knows many signs but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus. No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the Holy of Holies” Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, comps. And eds.., The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1980) Also see Doctrine and Covenants 129:4-9

[22] While attend connotes passive participation the Sacrament of Reconciliation is passive. The penitent is far from passive. They confess sins, ask for forgiveness, receive absolution, and perform the penance assigned by the priest.

[23] Connell, The Seven Sacraments, p 114-115

[24] For more information see The Rite of Baptism (Collegeville, Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1970), 9-10 It should also be noted that there are two rites of Baptism: One for infants or children under five and the other for adults and children over five.

[25] Ta Vita Pachomii 7, 22 as cited by Von Wellnetz.

[26]For more information see: “Temple Recommend Questions,” (accessed 2 March 2011)

[27] Boyd K. Packer, “The Holy Temple,”,11707,2028-1,00.html (Accessed 1 March 2011)

[28] Temple worship in this context is leaving out the practice of baptism for the dead.

[29] See Salt Lake School of the Prophets Minute Book 1883, (Palm Desert, CA: ULC Press, 1981)

[30] Connell, The Seven Sacraments, p 153

[31] “Catechumen,” accessed 2/17/2011

[32] These include the giving of the candidates name, the ceremony of exorcism, reception of the Gospel, the Symbol and the Our Father.

[33] The rise of Baptism (Collegeville. Minn.: The Liturgical Press, 1970) pp. 9-10

[34] For the most part Baptism as discussed with regards to both LDS and Catholic oridances and sacraments will be referring to adult converts.

[35] Sandra DeGidio, “The Sacrament of Baptism: Celebrating the Embrace of God,” (accessed 3/19/2011)

[36] The anointing with the oil of Catechumens is recording in several sources as an anointing of the entire body..‘The deacon removes from the catechumen all clothes, ornaments, earrings and whatever they wear ’ . . . ‘The baptizer pours the oil for anointing into the cup of his hands and rubs it on the whole body of the catechumen, also in between the fingers of his hands and the toes of his feet, and his limbs, and his front and his back.” Ritus Orientalium, pp. 279-28 see also; H.Denzinger, Ritus Orientalium, vol.I, W├╝rzburg 1863, pp. 192-214; Ritus Orientalium, pp. 302-316; Ritus Orientalium, pp. 267-279; and Ritus Orientalium, pp. 334-350, as cited in “Annointing with the oil of catechumens.” (accessed 3/8/2011)

[37] Chrism is a mixture of olive oil and balsam

[38] Sandra DeGidio, “The Sacrament of Baptism: Celebrating the Embrace of God,” (accessed 3/19/2011)

[39] The rite of Baptism, 9-10 Saeculum saeculborum expresses the idea of eternity. See Strong’s Greek Concordance (accessed 3/19/2011)

[40] Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures: 21. 3,4

[41] McCormack, Christian Initiation, p 50

[42] Francis J. Connell, The Seven Sacraments – What they are – What they do! ( Glen Rock, N.J. .: Paulist Press, 1966) p 59

[43] The rite of Baptism,, p 11

[44] The taking of a new name is not required and Catholics do not lose their other names when a new name is taken.

[45] “Names, Christian,”

[46] “Names, Christian,”

[47] It should be noted that this practice is not universal.

[48] See Bancroft 357-358 and William Clayton, Diary kept for Heber C. Kimball, 16 Dec. 1845

[49] "Joseph [Smith] tells us that this new name is a key-word, which can only be obtained through the endowments.” Joseph Smith as cited by Charles C. Rich Journal of Discourses, Vol.19, p.250 - p.251

[50] “The Name that was given to Adam was more Ancient than he was[:] the Name Adam was given him because he was the first man[;] but his New Name pertained to the Holy Priesthood & as I before stated is more Ancient than he was ­ . . . [if I] should want to address the thorne[sic] to enquire after Ancient things which transpired on planets that rol[l]ed away befofore[sic] this Plannet[sic] came into existence- I should use my New Name which is Ancient & referred to Ancient things – should I wish to Enquire for modern present things I should use my own name which refers to present things[. If] I Should want to enquire for modern future things – I would use the 3rd Name.” Brigham Young cited in “General Record of the Seventies. Record, Book B.” John D. Lee, principle scribe. LDS Archives. Also see Brigham Young cited by William Clayton, “Minutes of Sunday December 28, 1845) LDS Church Archives. Within Latter-day Saint theology it is believed that Noah is also named Gabriel, that Adam is also name Michael, and that Jesus Christ was named Jehovah.

[51] As with all glorified beings, our Lord has a new name in celestial exaltation, a name known to and comprehended by those only who know God in the sense that they have become as he is and have eternal life. See Rev. 2:12-17. Thus, Christ's "new name" shall be written upon all those who are joint-heirs with him (Rev. 3:12), and shall signify that they have become even as he is and he is even as the Father. (3 Ne. 28:10.)" Bruce R. McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, Vol.3 (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973), 568

[52] Jennifer C. Lane, “The Lord Will Redeem His People: Adoptive Covenant and Redemption in the Old Testament” (accessed 3/11/2011)

[53] "Those who were converted to the gospel were given a new name, Anti-Nephi-Lehies, 'and were no more called Laminates.'" William E. Berrett, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1952), 174

[54] "A new name shows a new status or the establishment of a new relationship. This new relationship may express the dependence of the person who receives a new name, but at the same time re naming may also indicate a type of adoption." (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: The Lord Will Redeem His People: Adoptive Covenant and Redemption in the Old Testament and Book of Mormon, p.42,43); Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, Vol.2, p.124) Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon, Semester 1, p.480, 448-9 as cited John W. Walsh, “The New Name,” (accessed 3/8/2011)

[55] John W. Walsh, “The New Name,” (accessed 3/8/2011)

[56] Marriott, Vesiarum Christianum, pp, iv-v; xxxiii - xxxiv

[57] Widstoe, “Looking Toward the Temple,” pg 58

[58] Catechism of the Catholic Church ,1544 (accessed 3/11/2011)

[59] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1546

[60] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1547

[61] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1577-1588

[62] O’Brien, History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies, p 52-53

[63] O’Brien, History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies, p 42-43; Martin, Worship in the Early Church, p 37

[64] O’ Brien History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies pg 56

[65] Walker, The Ritual “reason Why,” p 42 Dunney, The Mass, p 360

[66] O’ Brien History of the Mass and Its Ceremonies p 47

[67] John Abel Nainfa, Costume of prelates of the Catholic Church (Baltimore, MD: John Murphy Co., 1909),47

[68] Tresa Edmunds, “Mormon underware keeps body and soul together,” The Guardian UK, 1 March 2011, (accessed 3 March 2011)

[69] The Catholic Encyclopedia, ed. Charles G. Hebermann, 15 vols. (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908) 3: 72

[70] “In What Color Are Priests to be Buried?” (accessed 1 March 2011) Another excellent resource for gaining an understanding of the clerical robes of the Catholic Church is John Abel Nainfa’s Costume of prelates of the Catholic church (Baltimore, MD: John Murphy Co., 1909) See also Rituale Romanum and Titulus VII, Caput I De exequiis

[71] John A. Nainfa, Costume of prelates of the Catholic Church,115

[72] John A. Nainfa, Costume of prelates of the Catholic Church ,156

[73] Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Utah, 1540-1886 (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1964; 1st ed. 1889, vol 26 in Bancroft’s History of the Pacific States of North America Series),357-358 The First Presidency endorsed Bancroft’s research project and book. In a statement written 1884 to stake presidents and bishops they said “Utah is to receive special attention: one whole volume will be devoted to this territory, and the people and church which have founded and established it. This volume it is confidently expected will be authentic and calculated to extend a knowledge of the true condition of our affairs. We therefore, commend the work to your support and patronage.” John Taylor, George Q. Cannon, “Letter to Presidents of Stakes and Bishops, Nov 1,1884” LDS Archives

[74] See First Presidency Letter, 10 Oct. 1988 as cited by Carlos Asay, “The Temple Garment ‘An Outward Expression of an Inward Commitment.” (Acccessed 3/29/2011)

[75] “Elder Kimball . . . spoke of Elder Richards being protected at Carthage Jail – having on the robe, while Joseph & Hyrum [Smith]. And Elder Taylor were shot to pieces[.]” 21 Dec 1845 William Clayton Diary. See also Bancroft, 357-358 and John Smith as recorded 21 dec 1845 William Clayton Diary kept for Heber C. Kimball The garment only has spiritual benefits as long as the wearer is striving to live worthly. Hugh Nibley, “Sacred Vestments: A Preliminary Report,” (Accessed 3/29/2011)

[76] The garment is a “reminder of sacred covenants madw with the Lord, . . . a procective covering for the body, and a symbol of the modesty.” Carlos Asay, “The Temple Garment ‘An Outward Expression of an Inward Commitment.” (Acccessed 3/29/2011)

[77] Christ’s atonement covers sins in a way that human efforts cannot. This can be seen by the difference between the garment and the apron of fig leaves.

[78] Matt 6:28-32

[79] See Isaiah 61:10; 2 Nephi 9:14; 1 Peter 5:5; D&C 88:125; Pslam 18:39; 2 Nephi 4:33; Alma 34:16

[80] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1643

[81] “The Sacrament of Marriage,” (accessed 3/19/2011)

[82] Eisenhofer and Lechner, Liturgy of the Roman Rite, p 126

[83] Dalmais, Eastern Liturgies, p 117, 120

[84] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1638-1639

[85] John Widstoe. “Temple Worship,” Utah Genological and Historical Magazine (April 1921) 49-64 (accessed 3/8/2011)

[86] Hugh B. Brown, “The LDS Concept of Marriage,” Improvement Era, Vol. 65 pg 57, 598

[87] For a more detailed explanation of LDS temple marriage see Doctrine and Covenants, (Kirtland, Ohio: F.G. Williams & Co., 1835), Section CI. Marriage and The Papers of Joseph Smith Vol 1: Autobiographical and Historical Writings (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1989), 145-46.

[88] While not typically practiced in the temple Latter-day Saints also partake of the Lord’s Supper in weekly sacrament meetings. This is called the sacrament in LDS theology. The sacrament is not only a remembrance of the body and blood of Christ but also a time for introspection, and recommitment. The sacrament is a weekly renewal of all the covenants a Latter-day Saint has made.

[89] Von Wellnitz

[90] Catechism of the Catholic Church 1348

[91] The following are ways that communal worship is made manifest in Catholic tradition.“It is a Universal custom to rise and remain standing in the presence of superios, so that to pray standing is an outward sign of respect toward God” Eisenhower and Lechner, Liturgy of the Roman Rite, p 85 “Kneeling is also obsevered; its symbolic meaning denotes humility, pleading, seeking for help and even an admission of guilt” Von Wellnitz pg 30 also ssee Eisenhofer and Lechner, Liturgy of the Roman Rite, pg 85-86 Kings 8:54, 18:8; Daniel 6:10; Luke 22:41; Matthew 20:36 Acts 9:40“Sometime[s] ye sing, sometime[s] ye reead, sometime[s] ye hear; sometime[s] ye sit, sometime[s] ye stand, sometime[s] ye incline, sometime[s] ye kneel.” Waler, The Ritual “Reason Why.”, p 83

[92]“They did not merely listen to the prayers of the priest in silence but ratified them by acclamations.” Jungmann, The Mass of the Roman Rite, p 170

[93] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1349

[94] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1383

[95] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1358

[96] Von Wellnitz pg16

[97] Walker, The Ritual “Reason Why,” p 99

[98] Jungmann, Mass of the Roman Rite, pg 199; Walker, The Ritual “Reason Why,” p 169

[99] Walker, The Ritaul “Reason Why,” p 116-117

[100] Jungmann, Mass of the Roman Rite, p 172 The role of the prophet isn’t to be an advocate of the people to God but an advocate of God to the people.

[101] Jungmann, Mass of the Roman Rite, p 172

[102] Dunneyy, The mass, p 17 See also Amiot, History of the Mass, p 82; Exodus 17:11, 9:29; Psalms 27:2, 62:5, 133:2; Luke 24:50; Isiah 1:15, Tertullian De Oratione 14 Clement 1 Epistle to the Corinthians 29

[103] McCormack, Christian Initiation, pp 55-58 The mass is the high point of the liturgical year. For forty days the congregants have not sung the Gloria or Alleluia. At the Easter Vigil often the Gloria is jubilantly sung and bells are rang and every person’s lights are lit. It is during this celebration where catechumens are baptized and candidates are confirmed in one joyous First Communion. For more information detailing easter worship in the ancient church see Stephen D. Ricks “Liturgy and Cosmogony: The Ritual Use of Creation Accounts in the Near East.”

[104] Alfred Edersshiem, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Comp., reprint 1958) p 48

[105] Rykwert, Church Building p 29

[106] Wharton B. Marriott, Vestiarum Christianum, The Origin and Gradual Development of the Dress of the Holy Ministry in the church (London: Rivingtons, 1868) pg. xxv Also see Corinthians 11

[107] Clement mentions this, “And this further let the woman have: let her wholly cover her head. . . . And if this with modesty, and with a veil, she covereth her own eyes, she shall neither be misled herself, nor shall she draw others, by the exposure of her face, into the dangerous path of sin. For this willeth the Word; seeing that it is meet for the woman that she pray with a covered head. Quoted in Marriot, Vestiarium Christianum, p. xxv. To see a further discussion of this from see (accessed 3/10/2011) It should be noted that once again in contemporary worship this is no longer the case for most women.

[108] “The teachings began with a recital of the creation of the earth and its preparation to host life. The story carried the familiar ring of the Genesis account, echoed as will in Joseph Smith’s revealed book of Moses and book of Abraham.” Glen M. Leonard, Navuoo: A Place of Peace, A people of Promise [Salt Lake City: Desert Book Co., 2002],235

[109] An example of the portrayal of these different characters can be seen the Heber C. Kimball Journal that was kept by William Clayton. 10-13 December 1845. Also see Journal of Discourses 1:51

[110] See Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:31,

[111] “This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period, the condition of our first parents in the Garden of Eden, their disobedience and consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned, the period of the great apostasy, the restoration of the Gospel with all its ancient powers and privileges, the absolute and indispensable condition of personal purity and devotion to the right in present life, and a strict compliance with Gospel requirements.” James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord (1912, rpt. Ed., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1962), 99-100

[112] Victor Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992) as cited (accessed 3/29/2011)

[113] L. John Nuttall Diary, 7 Feb. 1877, typescript, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

[114] “It is the province of Eloheem,[sic] Jehovah and Michael to create the world, plant the Garden and create the man and give his help meet. Eloheem[sic] gives the charge to Adam in the Garden and thrusts them into the Telestial kingdom of the world. Then Peter assisted by James and John conducts them through the Telestial and Terrestrial kingdom administering the charges and tokens in each and conducts them to the vail[sic] where they are received by the Eloheem and after talking with my words and tokens are admitted by him into the celestial kingdom Brigham Young cited by William Clayton, in Diary Kept for Heber C. Kimball, 13 Dec 1845

[115]“Went to the temple in the morning with my wife . . . and received my washing and Anointing and passed on from the creation to the garden, Telestial, terrestrial and Celestial [rooms] within the vail[sic].” Phineas Richards, Diary, Dec 1845 LDS Archives

[116] See Heber C. Kimball Journal, no. 93 (21 Nov. 1845-47 Jan 1846) LDS Historical Department Archives Also Leonard states that “the disobedience and expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden set the stage for an explanation of Christ’s atonement for the original transgression and for the sins of the entire human family.” Also, Leonard, Navouu, 258 book

[117] In the creation room Latter-day Saints learn about the creation of the world. The walls of older temples are painted to represent this creation.

[118] The garden room shows the earth in its paradisiacal state. “The Garden Room is furnished with rich continuous wall through ceiling oil murals that represent the ‘earth as it was before sin entered and bought with it a curse; it is the Garden of Eden in miniature,’ Cast in pervading greens, yellows, and subtle blues, the mural depicts a luxuriant landscape with birds, insects and beasts living in harmony.” The Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to the People,[Salt Lake City: University Services, Inc., 1983], 92 In the Garden room “there is no suggestion of disturbance, enmity or hostility the beast are at peace and the birds live in amity.” Talmage, 206 See 11 dec 1845William Clayton, Diary kept for Heber C. Kimball for a description of the rooms in the Nauvoo temple

[119] The focus of the Telestial room is the “earth in a fallen rather than exalted state.” The Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to the People,[Salt Lake City: University Services, Inc., 1983], 94It is in this room that “lectures are gicen pertaining to the endowments.” Talmage, 206-207

[120] The intent of this room is to illustrate the drastic change from Telestial to terrestrial. The room in some temples is physically elevated by “a step or level to stress a drastic change in the implied environment. The carnage and strife of the Telestial Room give way to a room completely devoid of such images. The intent was to illustrate the marked doctrinal and environmental differences between the rewards of these two kingdoms. The new indirect lighting system, crystal chandeliers, and mirrors enhance the effect of increased spirituality.” The Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to the People,[Salt Lake City: University Services, Inc., 1983], 97

[121] “The symbolic importance of the room is apparent from its increased size. The most obvious dimensional change is its . . . ceiling. The spatial expansion was a deliberate effort to express visually a feeling of exaltation and a spiritual terminus. The concept of a terminus is suggested by the absence of an altar and the accustomed attached and orient row seating. . . the furniture is set within an environment designed to imply the majesty that one would associate with the Kingdom of God. . . The Celestial Room does not exhibit the restraint of the Terrestrial Room.” The Salt Lake Temple: A Monument to the People,[Salt Lake City: University Services, Inc., 1983], 98

[122] “The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be made ready to receive her King,—the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions.” James E. Talmage, The House of the Lord [Salt Lake City: Desert Book Co., 1968] pp83-84 Also see “Endowment,” (Accessed 3/28/2011)

[123] Leonard, Nauvoo, 259 also see Widstoe, Temple Worship

[124] “Diptych,” (accessed 3/18/2011)

[125] “Diptych,” (accessed 3/18/2011)

[126] Jungmann, Mass of the Roman Rite, p 396

[127] This order of prayer is not unique to Latter-day Saints. In 1801 revivalists in Cane Ridge Kentucky, “collected in small circles of 10 or 12” to engage in prayer. As cited in Catherine C. Cleveland, The Great Revival in the West, 1797-1805 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1916) 79. Prayer in circles was also evident in the revivals of Methodists and Episcopalians in the 1820-30’s. “When the invitation was given, there was a general rush, the large ‘prayer ring’ was filled, and for at least two hours prayer ardent went up to God.” Rev. James Erwin, Reminiscences of Early Circuit life (Toledo, Ohio: Spear, Johnson & Co., 1884)68. Also see George S. Tate, “Prayer Circle, Encloypedia of Mormonism (Acessed 3/29/2011)

[128] “President Snow put on his holy temple robes, repaired again to the same sacred altar . . . and poured out his heart to the Lord.” LeRoi C. Snow, “An Experience of My Father’s” Improvement Era 36 (August 1933):345 See also A Token of Love from the Members of the John Taylor Prayer Circle to Patriarch Joseph Horne (Salt Lake City: The John Taylor Prayer Circle, 1895); History of the Elders’ Quorum Prayer Circle, Salt Lake City, 1893-1929 (Salt Lake City: n.p., n.d.).

[129] Cited by D. Michael Quinn, "Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles", 19 BYU Studies, 79-105 (Fall 1978) see also Minutes of the School of the Prophets, (Salt Lake City, 11 October 1883, Church Historical Department),69

[130] Heber C. Kimball 1840-45 Journal, 24 July 1845 “The Holly[sic] order met at the usual place for prair.[sic]” Willard Richards Journal 24 July 1845: “4 P.M. prayer meeting – after which the Quorum agreed to take no more snuff and tobacco for 6 weeks.”

[131] “The Purpose of thee prayer circle: The true order of prayer, Get close to the Lord, Spirits drawn out to God and His Son, Hearts Humble, contrite and at peace, Soften hearts of participants and draws them near to God, Perfect love and harmony, Pray for the sick, Pray for the advancement of the Lord’s work with His blessing upon the people and His leaders.” “Requirements and Instructions for Setting Up Prayer Circles,” Church Historical Department as cited by D. Michael Quinn, "Latter-day Saint Prayer Circles", 19 BYU Studies, 79-105 (Fall 1978)

[132] Matthew B. Brown, “The Gate of Heaven,” as cited by (accessed 3/29/2011) Also see “The last years of Paulus VI (G.B. Montini 1974-78),” 02:56 (accessed 3/29/2011) for a video of the Pope performing this rite.

[133] “Knocking 3 Times On The Holy Door” (accessed 3/29/2011)