Episode 123: The Development of LDS Temple Worship 1846-2000

22 comments on “Episode 123: The Development of LDS Temple Worship 1846-2000”

  1. brandt Reply

    Wonderful interview. I think that Anderson does a great job of objectively and openly discussing the temple and it’s history, while not discarding some of the difficult things with it’s past. I had my order for his new book on pre-order for a while, but now I’m thinking about snagging his other 2 to complete the trilogy.

    I think the book will do a great service (just like this interview) because of how available the information is about the temple on the internet, and because of all the misconceptions the church at large has about the temple. It sounded like, through the interview, the temple process was one of trial and error, here and there. I think the church at large also feels that in order to “protect” the temple, we should put almost Parasitical boundaries around speaking anything about it, lest it be “pearls before swine” or we unknowingly break some covenant we have made. It seems as though the early church was much more open discussing the goings-on, the experience, and especially the meanings that the general church is now. AWESOME INTERVIEW!!!

    • Alan Reply

      Looking forward to this one. I think I’ve always had a thing for the more mysterious, lesser-known topics. I’m the same way with 1st century Christianity: the less there is known about it, the more I want to know.

  2. Pingback: Signature Books » The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History

  3. JB Reply

    Excellent interview! I’ve been eagerly looking forward to getting all three books in the trilogy since the moment I heard of them (oh that I could afford them…), and this interview makes me all the more excited about it. Thank you very much for bringing Devery Anderson on the podcast and for providing a superb interview that gave him plenty of space to speak.

  4. Jay Bryner Reply

    After the podcast I was on a walk with my kids, thinking about some of the untidy past policies, and some of the changes that have been made over the years. Its interesting to me how once a change is made, its as if the past never happened. Washings and annointings by relief society sisters prior to childbirth. Blacks and the priesthood. Polygamy.

    All of those were just part of earlier versions of the matrix. When those untidy subjects from earlier versions of the matrix rear their ugly head, the men in suits come, with one goal in mind. Deletion.

  5. George Miller Reply

    Great interview with Devery Scott Anderson. I am the proud owner of Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies. I loved reading both books. I am looking forward to purchasing this book for my reading pleasure and to add to my collection.

  6. Nathan R Kennard Reply

    Fascinating discussion. Many topics relating to the temple where not discussed in my home growing up, not that they were off limits, but they seemed too sacred to discuss at home. In the end, my temple experience the first time was memorably good, but I have learned more about the temple and practices over time therein since more space has afforded more open understanding.

    Devery Anderson presented his research in an unapologetic way and like others who have commented here, the book sounds interesting. Thanks, Mr. Anderson, and John for sharing this conversation.

  7. FWAnson Reply

    A little help here . . .

    Where will I find a good book on the Kirtland Temple Rites?
    (Preferably one that compares and contrasts the Kirtland an Nauvoo Rites)

    Big thanks as always gang!

  8. Joe Geisner Reply

    Not sure if people have noticed, but Amazon has completely sold out of all their copies of the book. Yesterday it was the number one selling Mormon book. It has now dropped in its ranking because it is sold out. If you want a copy, I would suggest you order quickly from Benchmark Books or Confetti Antiques. They may be the only dealers left with copies.

  9. The Faithful Dissident Reply

    Very interesting podcast. Good to hear you, Devery. I was particularly interested in what you had to tell about the second anointing. So if BKP has anything more to say about “muddying” the temple in the next conference, we’ll know he’s talking about you. 😉

  10. listening in Iraq Reply

    Bravo Zulu to Mormon Expressions and for taking on this topic! An open and frank conversation about the temple, its history, and its Potential is sorely needed in the Mormon community. You started out with episode 92 “The Kirtland Temple”. You have now produced this excellent podcast. I hope this is just the beginning of many more on the subject of the temple.

    My first belief: It is ridiculous that members of the church do not openly discuss the temple, its symbolism, and its meaning. As stated in this podcast, it is only a few things within the ceremony that we actually covenant not to reveal.
    There is no need for the rest to be secret. Our inability to discuss the temple harms the endowment experience (especially in the age of Google). “Sacred not secret” is stupid and not scriptural (interestingly, in the 1931 endowment the phrase “that we will not reveal any of the SECRETS” was used multiple times).

    Additionally, there is no secrecy in the original “Temple Manual”. The design of the temple and the works within are open to anyone to read and learn from. I’m speaking of the bible and specifically the first 5 books of Moses, the Tabernacle, and the Temples in Jerusalem. There are many layers of symbolism in the original Temples, but no secret works. The temple and all its specifics were revealed from God to Israel. These revelations were written, read, and openly discussed. They are part of the open cannon of scripture. The use of symbols, parables, and allegories are biblical. Secrecy is not scriptural. The Book of Mormon clearly and openly condemned all “secret works” and states that God does not work in secret.

    We need to remember that the church does teach that the endowment is symbolic. But even more, if members were taught to understand the symbols behind the temple, I believe that no one would struggle with the current endowment ceremony. I don’t even think that Evangelicals would have problems with our current endowment (that is if we also would let go of all the unnecessary legalism). The endowment can easily be circumscribed into the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We are reminded in the temple that all truths should be circumscribed into one great whole. I love this phrase. I wish we would practice this as a church. I pray that we will come to reject all the unnecessary dogma and embrace the Book of Mormon (D&C 84:56-57). I believe that the Book of Mormon was inspired, and along with the Bible, is our cannon and constitution. All other revealed doctrine should be tested against the Bible and Book of Mormon.

    The entire endowment can be found in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. To understand the endowment, you need to understand the Tabernacle as revealed in Exodus and Leviticus. The Tabernacle, the Temples in Jerusalem and our current Temples are and should be the same (although instead of animal sacrifice, we remember the great and final sacrifice). You need to understand the Creation, Fall, and Atonement. You need to understand the New Covenant and its relationship to the Old Covenant. The Book of Hebrews is all about the the relationship between the Old and New Covenants, and thus it is about the temple and the endowment. You need to understand that everything in the temple symbolizes of Jesus and our personal relationship with him. It symbolizes our rebirth and life as sons and daughters of Christ. I don’t know why the church doesn’t teach this (carefully read Hebrews 10, its amazing).

    I commend the Church for making changes to the endowment. Our temple worship has so much potential. It’s improving, and I hope it continues to improve. It’s still not entirely correct.

    For example, 3 Nephi 9:19-20 states: “And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood” … but instead “ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit”. This is the definition, directly from Christ, in the Book of Mormon (i.e. the “Fullness of the Gospel”) of the fulfilled “Law of Sacrifice”. The Law of Sacrifice in the Temple, although similar to this, is different. My personal opinion: I’ll go with the Book of Mormon.

    A question that I have: Biblical temple architecture was very specific. For example, the Tabernacle and the Temples in Jerusalem always laid east to west. The entrance was always on the east side. The Holy of Holies was always on the west. The Temple High Priest would proceed in a westward direction through the temple to regain the presence of God (the symbolism is that Adam and Eve departed eastward out of Eden, so to return to God’s presence, you need to proceed westward). The Kirtland Temple conformed to this architecture. It had an east entrance. The Kirtland veil was on the west side.

    However, the Nauvoo temple had a west entrance, and you would proceed eastward through the temple. The Salt Lake temple has an east entrance. However, the Celestial Room and Garden rooms are also on the east side. In the Salt Lake temple you depart the Garden Room westward and return eastward to the Celestial room. Why is the Nauvoo and Salt Lake Temple backwards? More recent temples are conforming more closely with traditional temple architecture (> year 2000).

  11. Oz Poof Reply

    So knowing this history of Mormon Temple practices we are still expected to believe it is all from God and that his house is a house of order? What an ad hoc, on-the-fly, not-a-thought-for-the-repercussions mess these early “inspired” leaders led the sheep through. So very, very human.

  12. Oz Poof Reply

    So knowing this history of Mormon Temple practices we are still expected to believe it is all from God and that his house is a house of order? What an ad hoc, on-the-fly, not-a-thought-for-the-repercussions mess these early “inspired” leaders led the sheep through. So very, very human.

  13. Kaylanamars Reply

    Just wondering if Devery is still an active member…anybody know?

  14. Swearing Elder Reply

    Maybe I’ll become active again so I can get a TR and examine the temple through new eyes after this interview and book.

    OK, on second thought…

  15. Lhsouthern1988 Reply

    I am in chapter 3: this is a great addendum to Mysteries of Godliness which I devoured. Its interesting how you couldn’t go to the temple until a week after your period and could not have sex before going. I would love why?

  16. Julian Reply

    Facinating podcast  – Devery’s book has now moved to the top os my “next book to read” list. Church history keeps getting more and more fascinating the deeper you dig. I wish more members were willing/strong enough to pick up a shovel and do more than just move the dirt around…

    I hoping someone is willing to help me with a couple questions (can’t wait for the book to get a better understanding…)
    Firstly, The second anointing was discussed, what exactly is a second anointing and what was the purpose of it? 
    Secondly, there is a conversation among J, Z, and Devery about a black woman who was gearing up to become another wife of J.S., Emma was on board, some type of promise made etc.,  but apparently he died prior to the wedding (?). She was then “dismissed” by the remaining apostles or  specific members of the quorum (?) and told she could not proceed with any sealing ordinance to Joseph despite their prior arrangement due to her color. – Did I hear this story correctly?? What is the womans name? In in book does it say anything about Emma defending this woman’s claim about the marriage arrangement/promise to “the men in charge” ?  I appreciate the time that is put into making these podcasts – Thank you J & Z.  And thank you to whomever chooses to use their  time to help a poor woman with no patience get some answers.

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