Mormon Temple "Initiatory" Ceremonies


These ceremonies are performed prior to the Endowment.

BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD

Baptism for the dead is usually performed by Mormon youths between the ages of twelve and eighteen. Dressed in white clothes, the youth enters the baptismal font and stands upright. Using his (her) left hand, he (she) grasps his (her) own right wrist, and uses the fingers of the right hand to hold the nose shut while being immersed. The person performing the baptism stands at the left side of the youth and grasps the youth’s right hand with his left hand. He then raises his right arm to an angle of ninety degrees ands repeats the baptismal prayer. Following the prayer, he places his right hand on the youth’s back and supports him (her) during immersion, raising the youth quickly out of the water to an upright position again, when the ceremony is repeated several more times on behalf of other deceased persons.


Brother _______, having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you, for and in behalf of _______, who is dead, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

CONFIRMATION OF THE DEAD

Following baptism, the deceased must be confirmed a member of the Mormon Church. This ceremony does not have to be performed by the same proxy by the baptism, and usually isn’t. The proxy sits in a chair, and two Mormon Elders place their hands on the proxy’s head, and repeat the following, for each deceased person.

Brother _______, in the name of Jesus Christ, we lay our hands upon your head, for and in behalf of _______, who is dead, and confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost. Amen.

RECONFIRMATION

This ceremony restores temple blessings lost through excommunication or by one’s name having been removed from the records of the Church.

Brother _______, in the name of Jesus Christ, we lay our hands upon your head [for and in behalf of _______, who is dead], and confirm you a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say unto you, Receive the Holy Ghost, and confirm upon you all your former Church and Temple blessings. Amen.

ORDINATION OF THE DEAD


This ceremony gives the Priesthood to the deceased.

Brother _______, having authority, we lay our hands upon your head, and confer upon you the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordain you an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for and in behalf of _______, who is dead, and seal upon you every grace, gift and authority appertaining to this office in the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, for and in his behalf, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

INITIATORY ORDINANCES
(PRELIMINARY TO THE ENDOWMENT)


After showing his Temple Recommend to a worker stationed near the entrance inside the building, the patron repairs to the men’s dressing area, where he is assigned a private locker (dividers and a door ensure privacy). After disrobing he covers himself with a "Shield"—a white poncho-like linen covering with a hole in the top for his head and open sides (held shut while walking). Covered in 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 lined veils.
When called for, the initiate enters the booth and hands his Garments to a worker who places them on a towel rod. As the initiate stands upright in his Shield the temple worker wets his fingers under s small faucet of running water in the booth, and lightly touches each area of the initiate’s body through the open sides of the Shield.

WASHING


Brother _______, having authority, I wash you preparatory to you receiving your anointings [for and in behalf of _______ (patron and then temple worker read name of deceased), 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 bear 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 might have joy and rejoicing in your posterity; your legs and feet, that you might run and not be weary, and walk and not faint.

(Females undergo a similar ritual, attended to by females, which includes the following, "Sister _______, having authority, I wash you preparatory to your receiving your anointings [for and in behalf of _______, who is dead], and whereas you have obeyed the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a true and honest heart, and have been faithful in keeping your covenants, your sins are forgiven and you are clean every whit. I wash your head that your brain and your intellect may be clear and active in discerning between truth and error, and that you may be filled with the spirit of the Lord..." etc.)

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 _______(patron and then temple worker read name of deceased), 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 scented olive oil from a glass anointing horn. During the anointing, the body parts are lightly 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 _______ (patron and then temple worker read name of deceased), 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 forever. 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 bear 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 might have joy and rejoicing in your posterity; your legs and feet, that you might 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 _______ (patron and then temple worker read name of deceased), 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 takes the Garments off the towel rod and holds them open wide at the neck, for the patron to step into (right leg, left leg). It is then pulled up the sides of his body and he slips his right arm and left arms 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 _______ (patron and then temple worker read name of deceased), who is dead], which you must wear throughout your life. It represents the Garment given to 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 your hereafter. The name is "_______."

The New Name is 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 (or stamps) either a "1" or "2" on the name slip. This indicates which of the New Names in use that day the patron received. The New Name ("1") is changed daily, and may be almost any personal name found in the Bible or the Book of Mormon. The alternate New Name ("2") is "Adam," and is only given when the patron’s given name (or that of the deceased) is similar to the daily New Name.

VICARIOUS PRESENTATION OF THE NEW NAME


If the patron elects not to receive Washings and Anointings as a proxy for the deceased prior to participating in an "Endowment for the dead," he must first obtain the New Name. Dressed in his white shirt, tie, pants, socks and slippers, he obtains the New Name by the following rite:

Brother _______, having authority, I give you a New Name, for and in behalf of _______ (patron and then temple 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 which will be shown your hereafter. The name is "_______."

The patron now enters a chapel and waits on a bench with other patrons until they are called by a temple worker to enter an endowment room.

To obtain the complete text of the current Endowment Ceremony follow this link.

Back to The Mormon Temple Endowment Homepage.


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