Friday, January 27, 2023


Most members of the Church have probably heard by now that once again there have been MAJOR changes made to the Temple Endowment this week and to other temple ordinances performed in the Temple. LINK: LDS temple ceremonies change again

From all of the online comments and from people I have talked to, all of them have been extremely happy with the changes. I am glad that so many people have found joy in worshipping in the Temple this week. I hope to just share a few thoughts from my perspective. I know I might be alone in my opinions. 

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:

“Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, 
for the salvation of men, 
are not to be altered or changed. 
All must be saved on the same principles.”
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

One thing that gives me comfort is that God is the same yesterday, today and forever despite what we do here in mortality. God does not change. The only thing that I think God wants to have changed is our hearts. 

One of the places where we learn more about God is in the Temple. Joseph Smith taught that sacred "ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world for the salvation of men are NOT to be altered or changed." We read in Isaiah 24:5 that in the last days, the earth will be defiled because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenants. 

President Russell M. Nelson in the gutted Salt Lake Temple Celestial Room on May 22, 2021

In the late 1980's, I took out my temple endowments in the Salt Lake Temple. SO MUCH has changed since then that I couldn't even begin to list all of them. 

Not only are there significant changes being made now to the actual structure of Salt Lake Temple but there has been significant changes to  ALL of the ordinances performed in the Temple. I remember one of the things that I loved about the Salt Lake Temple was moving from room to room and ascending upward in a clockwise direction. I have written a blogpost that describes more about this and the symbolic direction you faced in each room of the Salt Lake Temple. Here is the link to that post: Is your orientation aligned with God

I loved that each ordinance built on each other. Baptism in the basement, Initiatories on the first main floor and then each room of Glory was higher as you increased in light and knowledge and culminated in a Sealing Room for the sealing of the man and woman to become the Image of God. The Sealing Room was elevated and accessed by another flight of stairs from the Celestial Room. 

The Sealing Room in the Salt Lake Tempe was significant because not only is it above the Celestial Room, it is in the South East corner of the Celestial Room which is symbolic.

One of the new changes in the "renovation" of the Salt Lake Temple reported in the news by the Church a few weeks ago was that sealing rooms will be part of the addition just north of the Temple and on the lower floors will include new baptistries and sealing rooms. Sealing rooms on the lower floors? What?
"In the areas directly around the temple, work began on guest experience pavilions south of the temple, and on the three lower floors of the temple addition, which will be just north of the temple. The lower floors will include two new baptistries, sealing rooms, dressing rooms and administrative offices."

I remember being asked to be a witness couple with my wife as well as seeing my parents being a witness couple. I enjoyed the live session to see the Temple workers present the endowment to the best of their abilities. I personally believe that since the endowment had to be memorized, there were very few changes ever made to the endowment. The Church has officially ceased all "live sessions" in the Temple to a digital presentation.  Changes can now be made easily and more frequently.


 There is a disclaimer that is now read at the beginning of Endowment Session from The First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to make sure the temple patrons know that the changes are not changes but are "adjustments".  No mention of a revelation was given as to why these changes were made. (I wrote about the difference between adjustments and changes in this blog post: Additional Procedural Adjustments. 

After sitting through the endowment session this week, I don't think it is right to call the changes in the  new endowment as only adjustments. They are SIGNIFICANT CHANGES. For me it was like listening to one of my favorite songs and having the lyrics changed. Not only that, no one is an active participant during the session but only a passive observer. We watch other receive things that we used to receive. I personally feel that was one of the most important parts of the Temple Experience.  What if we were to watch someone else get baptized.. could we then say we have received baptism as well?

I think I will probably stop there. Once again I am sad to see so many things about the Temple go down the Memory Hole... never to be experienced again. 

I know MOST if NOT all (except me) are thrilled with the new endowment. It is amazing what peppering images of Jesus Christ throughout the presentation with music will do for people.  Bring tissues if you plan to go and are susceptible to emotion. 

Addendum 01:

The residents of Heber City in Wasatch County have a dark sky policy. They have laws in place for the businesses and residents to reduce man made light in order for them to look into the heavens and see the stars at night without light pollutions. However, the LDS church wants that laws to change so they can shine brighter light onto the Temple to be built. Such lighting would violate the current county code adopted in 2002 intended to preserve dark sky.

Addendum 02:

Another Utah Temple that Has Angel Moroni pointing in the wrong direction, The Red Hills Temple which is the second Temple to be build in St. George has now placed the crowning Angel Moroni on top. It is not facing East but it is facing North. The reasons behind this is because aesthetically it looks better. I cant help but think that a lot of these changes the Church makes are for aesthetic reasons, but what we lose are the deep rooted symbols that point us to the something bigger and more heavenly.