The LDS temple ceremony has evolved a lot since it was instituted by Joseph Smith. As the most sacred place on earth, it’s a fascinating place to learn about, so let’s take a look at some of the more interesting elements of its history. A lot of this trivia comes from our friends at Mormon Think, which we highly recommend you check out. 🙂


1. The temple endowment ceremony used to be EIGHT hours long!

(And Mormons today think they’re too busy for the 1.5 hour ceremony…. Imagine how dedicated the early saints must have been!)


2. The old temple movie included a scene illustrating the creation of the earth from the Disney classic, Fantasia.

We always knew Disney was divine!


3. In 1990, church leaders were inspired by a public opinion survey to remove the death oaths from the temple ceremony.

They also changed language that faulted Eve for the fall, references to Adam that didn’t include Eve, the lecture at the veil, and all penalties.


4. The Old Testament and the temple ceremony differ on what was created on what days when the earth was formed.

Days 3 and 4 seem to be reversed.


5. In 1982, the First Presidency identified those who engage in oral sex as unworthy for the temple.


6. The temple ceremony is almost identical to that of the Masons. For a detailed look at their similarities, click here to read more.


7. Joseph Smith administered the first LDS endowments in 1842, two months after his initiation into masonry.

The Masonic and Mormon ceremonies are almost identical in a number of ways. They were also initially just offered to men; women received them about a year later.


8. Before 2005, initiatories were done while you were naked with a poncho (that was completely open at the sides) over you!

The person administering the ordinance would touch various parts of your body under the poncho.


9. Each day, everyone of the same gender receives the same name in the temple.

There is also evidence from temple workers that temple names for the dead are often recycled so they don’t run out, meaning some people have already had their work done when you go through for them.


10. If you’re super duper righteous and connected with LDS apostles, you can potentially receive your second anointing.

This is where an apostle makes your calling and election sure! (That means you’re guaranteed to get to the celestial kingdom unless you commit an unpardonable sin.) Bishops are instructed not to discuss this, and to divert attention away from it if a member ever inquires about it. You can learn more by listening to Stake President, Tom Phillips’ interview for Mormon Stories. He received the second anointing.


We explained briefly the Apostasy and the Restoration: that there is vast evidence and history of an apostasy from the doctrine taught by Jesus and his Apostles, that the organization of the original Church became corrupted, and sacred ordinances were changed to suit the convenience of men…” – Apostle David B. Haight, “Joseph Smith the Prophet,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 22


Further Reading


Sources not linked in post

Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young
Zina Jacobs-Smith-Young would have been a millennial blogger, but she died in 1901. The wife of Brigham Young, and prior to that Joseph Smith, and prior to that Henry Jacobs, who was sent on a mission by Brigham before he married her, Zina loves writing, long walks on the beach, and playing the field.

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