Endowment

    A ritual instituted by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois that was later finalized by Brigham Young. It presents a symbolic account of the creation of the world, including Adam and Eve. The ritual uses Adam and Eve to portray the mortal experience of every man and woman. The ritual takes initiates to converse with the Lord through a veil, preliminary to entering into His presence. The Lord questions the initiates to determine if they obeyed, sacrificed, were chaste, and consecrated their lives. After appropriate answers are given to the Lord, they are permitted to enter into His presence. A reduced version of the ceremony is still presented in LDS temples.1 The ceremonial ritual was to be housed in a temple still under construction at the time Joseph Smith was killed. The temple rites he restored in Nauvoo, Illinois reaffirmed that God is accessible. The rites claimed that by obedience to God’s commandments, every man and woman could receive further light and knowledge by conversing directly with the Lord through the veil. Joseph wanted God to be at the center of every Christian’s faith. The temple ceremony explained that man could approach God directly and, thereby, avoid being “darkened in their minds by depending” on another man.2

    1 A Man Without Doubt, 169.

    2 A Man Without Doubt, 13.






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