The LDS Temple Endowment Site

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Preparatory Ordinances and Marriage Ceremony

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MORMON TEMPLE "INITIATORY ORDINANCES" TO BE PERFORMED PRIOR TO THE ENDOWMENT CEREMONY

After showing his Temple Recommend to a worker stationed at the front of the building, the patron enters the temple, and passes into the men's dressing area, where he is assigned a locker. The temple patron, leaving all of his clothing in the locker, covers himself in a "Shield". the Shield is a white, poncho-like linen covering which is open on both sides, which the initiate must hold shut while walking. Covered with the Shield, he carries one pair of Temple Garments (one-piece style) to the Washing and Anointing area, and waits on a bench until directed by a temple worker to enter one of the Washing and Anointing booths, through a veiled partition. The booths are simply small cubicles made up of suspended linen veils. The initiate hands his Garments to a Temple worker who waits inside.

As the initiate stands upright in his Shield, the temple worker wets his fingers under a small faucet of running water in the booth, and touches each area of the initiate's body, through the slits in the sides of the Shield, as body parts are mentioned in the purification ritual.

WASHING

Brother ______, having authority, I wash you preparatory to you receiving your anointings [for and in behalf of _______, who is dead], that you may become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. I wash your head, that your brain and your intellect may be clear and active; your ears, that you may hear the word of the Lord; your eyes, that you may see clearly and discern between truth and error; your nose, that you may smell; your lips, that you may never speak guile; your neck, that it may bear up your head properly; your shoulders, that they may bare the burdens that shall be placed thereon; your back, that there may be marrow in the bones and in the spine; your breast, that it may be the receptacle of pure and virtuous principles; your vitals and bowels, that they may be healthy and strong and perform their proper functions; your arms and hands, that they may be strong and wield the sword of justice in defense of truth and virtue; your loins, that you may be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in your posterity; your legs and feet, that you may run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.

Two temple workers then place their hands upon the patron's head, and one of them recites the Confirmation of the Washing.

CONFIRMATION OF THE WASHING

Brother ____, having authority, we lay our hands upon your head [for and in behalf of ________, who is dead], and seal upon you this washing, that you may become clean from the blood and sins of this generation through your faithfulness, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The patron then steps through a veiled partition into another part of the booth where he sits upon a chair. He is anointed with olive oil from a glass anointing horn, which is shaped like a bull's horn. During this anointing, the parts are touched as they are mentioned, as was done in the washing.

ANOINTING

Brother ____, having authority, I pour this holy anointing oil upon your head [for and in behalf of _____, who is dead], and anoint you preparatory to your becoming a King and a Priest unto the Most High God, hereafter to rule and reign in the House of Israel. I anoint your head, that your brain and your intellect may be clear and active; your ears, that you may hear the word of the Lord; your eyes, that you may see clearly and discern between truth and error; your nose, that you may smell; your lips, that you may never speak guile; your neck, that it may bear up your head properly; your shoulders, that they may bare the burdens that shall be placed thereon; your back, that there may be marrow in the bones and in the spine; your breast, that it may be the receptacle of pure and virtuous principles; your vitals and bowels, that they may be healthy and strong and perform their proper functions; your arms and hands, that they may be strong and wield the sword of justice in defense of truth and virtue; your loins, that you may be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in your posterity; your legs and feet, that you may run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.

The anointing is then confirmed, as was the washing, by the two temple workers.

CONFIRMATION OF THE ANOINTING

Brother ______, having authority, we lay our hands upon your head [for and in behalf of _____, who is dead], and confirm upon you this anointing, wherewith you have been anointed in the temple of our God, preparatory to becoming a King and a Priest unto the Most High God, hereafter to rule and reign in the House of Israel forever; and seal upon you all the blessings hereunto appertaining, through your faithfulness, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The patron now steps through a third veiled partition into another section of the booth. A temple worker hold the patron's garment open wide at the neck, into which the patron steps (right leg, left leg), and it is then pulled up the sides, and the right arm and left arm are then slipped through the sleeves.

THE GARMENT OF THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD AND THE NEW NAME

Brother _______, having authority, I place this Garment upon you [for and in behalf of ______, who is dead], which you must wear throughout your life. It represents the Garment given unto Adam when he was found naked in the Garden of Eden, and is called the Garment of the Holy Priesthood. Inasmuch as you do not defile it, but are true and faithful to your covenants, it will be a shield and a protection to you against the power of the destroyer until you have finished your work here on earth. With this Garment I give you a New Name, which you should always remember, and which you must keep sacred, and never reveal except at a certain place which will be shown you hereafter. The name is "______."

The New Name is then repeated by the patron, who has now completed the Initiatory Ordinances, and is ready to clothe for the Endowment. Upon giving the New Name, the worker writes either a "1" or a "2" on the name slip. This indicates which of the "New Names" in use that day the patron received. The New Name may be almost any given name found in the Bible or the Book of Mormon.

When the patron has not undergone Initiatory Ordinances, but is simply about to do an "Endowment for the Dead" he receives the New Name in a booth, dressed in his white shirt, tie, pants, socks and slippers. Holding a name slip, he obtains the New Name by the following rite:

VICARIOUS PRESENTATION OF THE NEW NAME

Brother ______, having authority, I give you a New Name, for and in behalf of ____, (patron and the worker read name of deceased), who is dead, which you should always remember, and which you must keep sacred, and never reveal except at a certain place that will be shown you hereafter. The name is "_______".

MORMON TEMPLE MARRIAGE/SEALING CEREMONY

The bride and the groom enter a "Sealing Room" and kneel on opposite sides of the altar and face each other. They are dressed in their full temple robes, with the robe on the right shoulder. They join hands in the Patriarchal Grip, or Sure Sign of the Nail, which signifies that the marriage ordinance is under the operation of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

The Officiator who will perform the sealing stands at the head of the altar. Seated behind the Officiator are two witnesses to the ceremony, whose signatures will appear on the temple's marriage certificate. Guests are seated on either side of the altar.

OFFICIATOR (Sealer): Brother ____, [acting as proxy for ____, who is dead] do you take sister ____ [acting as proxy for ____, who is dead] by the right hand and receive her unto yourself to be your lawful and wedded wife for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

GROOM: Yes.

OFFICIATOR : Sister _____, [acting as proxy for ____, who is dead] do you take brother _____ [acting as proxy for ____ who is dead] by the right hand and give yourself to him to be his lawful and wedded wife, and for him to be your lawful and wedded husband, for time and all eternity, with a covenant and promise that you will observe and keep all the laws, rites, and ordinances pertaining to this Holy Order of Matrimony in the New and Everlasting Covenant, and this you do in the presence of God, angels, and these witnesses of your own free will and choice?

BRIDE: Yes

OFFICIATOR: By virtue of the Holy Priesthood and the authority vested in me, I pronounce you _____, and you, ____, legally and lawfully husband and wife for time and all eternity, and I seal upon you the blessings of the holy resurrection with power to come forth in the morning of the first resurrection clothed in glory, immortality, and eternal lives, and I seal upon you the blessings of kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions and exaltations, with all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob [and say unto you: be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, that you may have joy and rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ]. All these blessings, together with all the blessings appertaining unto the New and Everlasting Covenant, I seal upon you by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, through your faithfulness, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

If the couple is actually being married or sealed to each other, they kiss across the altar.

TEMPLE CEREMONY FOR SEALING CHILDREN TO PARENTS

Married Couples who have had children before they joined the Mormon Church or who were married before being sealed in the temple must have their children sealed to them for time and eternity. Children born after a temple marriage are automatically sealed to their parents. These children are considered "Born under the Covenant."

The parents kneel at the wedding altar, dressed in the Robes of the Holy Priesthood, Melchizedek Order. They join hands in the Patriarchal Grip, or Sure Sign of the Nail, and the children kneel around the altar placing their right hands upon their parents's hands, beginning with the oldest child. The children are clothed in white.

OFFICIATOR (SEALER): By the authority of the Holy Priesthood, I seal upon you ___, [acting as proxy for ____, who is dead] and you____, and ____, (etc. Children named in order of age) to your father ____, and to your mother ____, for time and all eternity, as an heir [or as heirs] [with all the children] as though you were born in the New and Everlasting Covenant, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

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