LDS Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony Death Oaths

 
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Why the need for secret death oaths in the LDS Temple Endowment Ceremony?


God Doesn't Need Secrecy or Death Oaths

Book of Mormon, Ether 8:19
"For the Lord worketh not in secret combinations, neither doth he will that man should shed blood, but in all things hath forbidden it, from the beginning of man."

Satan Uses Death Oaths, Especially Oaths of Secrecy and Loyalty
Book of Moses 5:29
"And Satan said unto Cain: Swear unto me by thy throat, and if thou tell it thou shalt die; and swear thy brethren by their heads, and by the living God, that they tell it not; for if they tell it, they shall surely die;"

Book of Mormon, Helaman 6:21-22
"But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more part of the Nephites, insomuch that they did unite with those bands of robbers, and did enter into their covenants and their oaths, that they would protect and preserve one another in whatsoever difficult circumstances they should be placed... they did have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; and this that they might distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant..."

The Prophet Joseph Smith Condemned Oaths of Secrecy
"I would further suggest the impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenant or oath, by penalties or secrecies; but let the time past of our experience and sufferings by the wickedness of Doctor Avard suffice and let our covenant be that of the Everlasting Covenant, as contained in the Holy Writ and the things that God hath revealed to us. Pure friendship always becomes weakened the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penalty oaths and secrecy."
- The Prophet Joseph Smith,
"Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith," p. 146

Death Oaths Made by All Mormon Temple Patrons Prior to the 1930's:

ADAM : "We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots."

ADAM: "All bow your heads and say Yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)

PETER: "The brethren and sisters will now stand, push back the seats, place the robe on the left shoulder, and receive the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood. We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field."

"All bow your heads and say yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)

PETER: "We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our bodies be cut asunder in the midst and all our bowels gush out."

"All bow your heads and say yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes." (All patrons sit down.)

Death Oaths Made by All Mormon Temple Patrons from the 1930's until April 1990:

Mormon Temple Death Oath #1:

ELOHIM: "All arise." (All patrons stand.)

ELOHIM: "Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, by bringing your right arm to the square, the palm of the hand to the front, the fingers together, and the thumb extended. This is the sign. Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the execution of the penalty."

"I ________, think of the new name, covenant before God, angels and these witnesses that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."

(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)

"That will do." (Patrons sit down.)

Mormon Death Oath #2:

PETER: "The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign. (The officiator demonstrates.) The Execution of the Penalty is represented by placing the right hand on the left breast, drawing the hand quickly across the body, and dropping the hands to the sides. I will now explain the covenant and obligation of secrecy which are associated with this token, its name, and sign, and penalty, and which you will be required to take upon yourselves."

PETER: "All arise. (All Patrons stand.) Each of you make the sign of the Second Token of the Aaronic priesthood by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square. This is the sign."

"Now, repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Executing of the Penalty."

"I, _________, think of the first given name, solemnly covenant, before God, angels, and these witnesses that I will never reveal the second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, and sign, and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."

(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)

"That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

Mormon Temple Death Oath #3:

PETER: "All arise. (All patrons stand.) Each of you make the sign of the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail by brining the left hand in front of you with the hand in cupping shape, the left arm forming a square; also by bringing the right hand is also brought forward, the palm down, the fingers close together, the thumb extended, and by placing the thumb over the left hip. This is the sign."

"Now repeat in your mind after me the words of the covenant, at the same time representing the Execution of the Penalty:"

"I solemnly covenant in the name of the Son that I will never reveal the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or Sign of the Nail, with its accompanying name,and sign and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."

(Patrons perform the action as the Officiator guides them.)

"That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

Even today, Mormon Temple patrons make the oaths of secrecy above, although without the gruesome penalties.

Also, all Mormon Temple Patrons today still make an oath to sacrifice their lives and all they posses for the church:


TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand.) "And as Jesus Christ has laid down his life for the redemption of mankind, so we should covenant to sacrifice all that we possess, even our own lives if necessary, in sustaining and defending the Kingdom of God."

"All arise. Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you solemnly covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this alter that you will observe and keep the Law of Sacrifice, as contained in the Old and New Testament, as it has been explained to you. Each of you bow your head and say "yes.""

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes."

ELOHIM: "That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

TEMPLE NARRATOR: (All patrons stand.) "Each of you bring your right arm to the square. You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in this, (The Officiator holds up a copy of the Doctrine and Covenants again.), the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion."

Each of you bow your head and say "yes."

TEMPLE PATRONS: "Yes."

PETER: "That will do." (All patrons sit down.)

So why does God need death oaths in the temple covenants?

If these death oaths were necesessary for exhaltation, then why were they removed from the covenants?

Is it any wonder that faithful Mormons will give up everything, including their own family members and integrity to the cause of the church?

It's likely that death oaths were originally introduced into the endowment ceremony in order to conceal the secret practice of polygamy in Nauvoo. For details, see:
http://www.i4m.com/think/temples/temple_legacy.htm

Why else would God need us to make death oaths of secrecy or loyalty?




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