EARLY LDS ENDOWMENT AT KIRTLAND
The purpose of this article is to point out that the LDS "endowment" conducted in the Kirtland Temple was significantly different than the "endowment" conducted in the Nauvoo Temple. Surprisingly, many of the changes in the two "endowments" are from the incorporation of borrowed/stolen Masonic Rites. Before the endowments in the Nauvoo Temple were given, Joseph Smith became a Mason on March 15, 1842 in his upper business office or Masonic lodge room (History of the Church, vol. 4, pg. 550-551). Only a couple of weeks after Joseph Smith's initiation into Masonry, he taught the other LDS Church leaders in the same Masonic lodge room. He gave instructions on the "...principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, annointings, endowments, and the communication of keys" (May 4, 1842, History of the Church, vol. 5, pg. 2). Joseph Smith's own temple records indicate his endowment took place on May 4, 1842 weeks after his Masonic initiation. Again, the purpose of this post is to show that the "endowments" given in Kirtland were far different than the ones given in the Nauvoo Temple.
In showing the differences I will use the Kirtland Elder's Quorum Record 1836-1841, which is from the RLDS Church Archives and edited by Lyndon W. Cook and Milton V. Backman, Jr., Provo, Utah, Grandin Book Co., 1985.
Backman & Cook eds. Kirtland Elders' Quorum Record (1985), p.25 - p.26
Notice no oaths, penal signs, apron, grips, keynames, five-points of fellowship or any other Masonic similarities. Furthermore, anyone familiar with the current LDS endowment or even the pre-1990 version would realize that the "endowments" were different in both the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples. The LDS Temple ceremonies (post Nauvoo) are described at Dave's Controversial Religion Page: [link obsolete] Three versions of the LDS endowment (1931, 1984, and 1990) are described at this web site.
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