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Temple Ritual Altered 5

From The Salt Lake City Messenger No. 75, July 1990
Jerald and Sandra Tanner

Important Omission

The Los Angeles Times, May 5, 1990, gave this information concerning the removal of the "Five Points of Fellowship" from the temple ceremony:

"Also dropped is an 'embrace' of a man representing God, who stands behind a ceiling-to-floor veil. Reaching through a slit in the veil, the church member puts his or her hand to the hack of the deity and presses against him at the cheek, shoulders, knees and feet with the veil between them. The contact at 'five points of fellowship,; including the hand on the back, has been omitted, although the member must still give a secret handshake and repeat a lengthy password."

There can be no question that the "five points of fellowship" were derived from Masonry. The reader can clearly see this from the comparison which follows:

"HE (the Candidate) is raised on what is called the five points of fellowship,... This is done by putting the inside of your right foot to the inside of the right foot of the person to whom you are going to give the word, the inside of your knee to his, laying your right breast against his, your left hands on the back of each other, and your mouths to each other's right ear (in which position alone you are permitted to give the word), and whisper the word Mahhah-bone... He is also told that Mahhah-bone signifies marrow in the bone." (Freemasonry Exposed, pp.84-85)
"The five points of fellowship are given by putting the inside of the right foot to the inside of the Lord's, the inside of your knee to his, laying your breast close to his, your left hands on each other's backs, and each one putting his mouth to the other's ear, in which position the Lord whispers:
"Lord--'This is the sign of the token:
"'Health to the navel, marrow in the bones...'" (Temple Mormonism, page 22)

That the "five points of fellowship" were in the temple ceremony while the Mormons were still in Nauvoo, Illinois is verified by a reference H. Michael Marquardt pointed out in Heber C. Kimball's Journal, Nov. 21, 1845 to Jan. 7, 1846. Under the date of Dec. 11, 1845, a scribe wrote of the "second token of the Melchizedek Priesthood and also the key word on the five points of fellowship."

The Five Points of Fellowship remained a very important part of the temple ceremony until the ritual was revised in April 1990. In the ceremony as we published it in Mormonism--Shadow or Reality? pp. 472-73, the reader will find that when those receiving their endowments arrive at the "veil" and seek entrance into heaven, they are lacking one extremely important key--i.e., the name of the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, The Patriarchal Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail.

When the Lord asks the recipient to "give it [the name] to me?" the response is: "I cannot. I have not yet received it. For this purpose I have come to converse with the Lord through the veil." The Lord then responds: "You shall receive it upon the five points of fellowship, through the veil." The Lord gives the vital information and then asks for the name again: "Will you give it to me?" This time the recipient says, "I will, upon the five points of fellowship through the veil..." After the secret words are given, the Lord says "That is correct." Shortly after this, the recipient is allowed to enter into the presence of the Lord in the "Celestial Room."

In Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor, p. 120, we read that in Masonry the candidate can only receive "the grand Masonic word on the five points of fellowship." The reader will remember that Heber C. Kimball's journal for 1845 made it clear that in the Mormon endowment this important key to the Celestial Kingdom was only given "on the five points of Fellowship."We have also shown that up until the revision of the ceremony in April 1990, the Lord would only give this important information "upon the five points of fellowship, through the veil."

Furthermore, the recipient had to give it back to the Lord "upon the five points of fellowship, through the veil." For almost a century and a half, therefore, the Mormon leaders taught that these secret words could only be whispered in the ear while the Lord and the recipient were touching on all "five points of fellowship."

From what we can learn, those who participate in the ritual still put their "left hands on each other's backs and whisper the words of the sign," but they do not put their feet and knees together and all the wording concerning the "five points of fellowship" has been completely deleted. These words previously appeared in four different places--the "Lord" spoke of the "five points of fellowship" twice; "Peter" referred to the "five points of fellowship" once, and the recipient mentioned them once.

While it is good that the Mormon leaders removed this Masonic element from the endowment ceremony, some people who have been involved in temple work feel that the reason it was dropped was because some of the women felt the five points of contact (especially the placing of the "inside of your knee to his") were too intimate. There were complaints that the men playing the role of the Lord sometimes took advantage of the situation.

We were also told that even some of the men felt they had a problem with the "Lord" behind the veil. Since a large number of men have played the role of the Lord in the various temples throughout the world, it is certainly possible that complaints could have been made at various times. The performance of this type of ceremony in any group of people would probably result in some complaints. In any case, it is very possible that the "five points of fellowship" were removed because this part of the ritual seemed awkward or embarrassing to some members of the Mormon Church.

Regardless of the reason for the change, it raises serious questions concerning the inspiration of church officials. If a person was previously compelled to receive the secret information necessary to enter heaven on the five points of fellowship, how can the church leaders now by-pass God's revealed way which was given by the prophet Joseph Smith. Kim Sue Lia Perkes revealed that:

"...a former Mormon familiar with the changes said the ceremony's climax has been eliminated. Removal of that part of the ritual, he said, is the equivalent of taking the Eucharist out of the Roman Catholic Mass.
"Not all Mormons are happy with the ceremony changes.
"I certainly have Mormon friends who will see it as a step toward apostasy and an accommodation to the world,' said one practicing Mormon in Utah." (Arizona Republic, April 28, 1990)

Devil's Minister Gone

When we first printed the temple ceremony in 1969, we commented on the fact that in the 1906 printing of the endowment, the Devil offered a preacher four thousand dollars a year to work for him, We said that in 1906 this was a great deal of money, but that the Mormons had neglected to give the preacher much of a raise. Therefore, when we printed the ceremony in 1969, and subsequently in Mormonism--Shadow or Reality? p. 468, the preacher was still only receiving five thousand dollars a year. In any case, this portion of the ceremony makes it perfectly clear that in the eyes of the Mormon leaders the orthodox Christian religion is the Devil's religion:

"LUCIFER: Well, if you'll preach your orthodox religion to this people and convert them, I'll give you--let me see--five thousand a year."

In Mormonism, Magic and Masonry, p. 66, we wrote:

"...the temple ritual tries to link Christians and ministers of other churches to the Devil's work. We feel that this is one of the most objectionable things about the ceremony, and we do not feel that a Christian would want to give any support to this type of thing."

Many other Christians protested against this part of the ceremony, and a great deal of pressure has been put on the Mormon leaders to change this part of the endowment. We understand, in fact, that a petition signed by thousands of people demanded that this portion of the endowment be changed.

After this portion of the ceremony was deleted, Vern Anderson wrote the following:

"Among the changes... a portion of the ceremony with an actor portraying a non-Mormon 'preacher' paid by Satan to spread false doctrine has been eliminated. 'The general consensus is that it's a breath of fresh air,' said Ross Peterson... 'You don't put down other churches, or imply that they are Satan's children.' (Salt Lake Tribune, April 29, 1990)

We have been told that all the material making fun of both Protestants and Catholics has now been eliminated. The ceremony as it was previously given, not only implied that Protestant ministers were working for the Devil, but also had Lucifer claiming he would buy up "Popes" to help him in his evil work.

Unfortunately, the removal of the portion of the temple ceremony which implies that Christian ministers are working for the Devil does not really solve the problem. The Mormon Church still retains Joseph Smith's story of the First Vision in the Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith--History, verses 18-19. In this account, Joseph Smith asserted that Jesus himself told him that all other churches were wrong:

"My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right... I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt..."

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