Inside a Mormon Temple Ceremony (a.k.a. Mitt Romney Actually Believes This)

The first rule of Mormon Club is: You do not talk about Mormon Club.

But someone managed to sneak into a Mormon temple ceremony known as the Endowment, in which participants are prepared to become “kings, queens, priests, and priestesses in the afterlife.”

The video’s taken off, receiving over 100,000 views in the past day or so.

It seems worthy of mockery, but realize that other religions are no less wacky. We’ve just become accustomed to things like eating the body of Jesus, getting baptized, and bowing down in the direction of Mecca.

None of it makes any sense… but this one’s special because Mitt Romney believes this particular form of nuttery.

There’s no religious test for public office, and that’s a good thing. However, rational judgment is a quality we ought to look for in any President. If Romney thinks this ceremony is legit, it’s just another reason for voters to question what goes on in his mind.

(Thanks to John for the link)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • IndyFitz

    Wow.  I mean, Scientology doesn’t seem like THE wackiest anymore.  I wonder if Xenu ever visited Kolob? :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/degeb Dege Boller

    oh brother you leftys got nothing better to do

    • OregoniAn

      Quite the unconstructive comment there, Degey boy.. Are you defending the Mormon religion? Or just taking a piss here by positing the absurd claim that all atheists must certainly be “lefty’s”?

      Oh, bother, Ma Boller’s half-witted son’s got nothing better ta do agin.. =)

    • Baby_Raptor

      Here, I have something better for YOU to do: Go take a remedial English class.

      Coming from the side that constantly screams about the President supposedly being a Muslim, and allowing Shariah law and all that, one would think that ya’ll would be glad we’re examining Mitt’s beliefs to make sure they don’t threaten America’s “Christian nation” status. But no…It’s only okay when you’re criticizing Democrats.

    • Baal

       Actually, this is ‘better to do’.  It is helpful for atheists to know about the actual events that various actual religions do.  We can then keep our complaints to what is real or call bs when a particular religonist asserts something about their faith that is false.  I’ve had practicing Catholics tell me that the church doesn’t really believe in transubstantiation but the dogma is clear, it’s not just metaphor.  I knew that one from being raised a Catholic.   Now I know a little more about Mormonism; that’s a good and useful thing.

      Also, I feel entitled to know what the president of the US does in his spare time (to some degree).  If he practices Santeria and sacrifices chickens, I want to know.  I also want to know if the mormons really are just another xtian sect or if they are as cultish as they get tarred.  Vids like the one here help answer that question in a way Mormons cannot (“are you in a cult” “um, supreme leader says we’re not a cult”).

  • Howabout

    “Not God Bless America, but God Damn America!”

    • Baby_Raptor

      Yawn. Got something pertinent to the matter at hand, instead of a goddess-knows-how-old, taken out of context and completely twisted comment that has already been beaten to death and back repeatedly? 

      Probably not. Conservatives can’t take criticism…All they have in response is to insult or scream “You do it too!”

      • JeffX

        Damn, that is so true. The one batshit crazy conservative catholic / republican that I most often discuss politics with does this to us all the time. He defends the most indefensible actions and beliefs until you catch him with some actually indisputable fact or logical argument, then the reason becomes, well the other side does that too. It always reminds me of a Michael Shermer quote.

        Smart people are very good at rationalizing beliefs they have come to hold for bad reasons.

  • Keulan

    Religions sure do love their wacky rituals.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1078695333 David Kopp

    Not really sure I want a guy who thinks this is real to have his hand on the button…

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    The ending is downright creepy. Those men holding hands, asking and answering weird questions and then you get into the secrect club of who the fuck knows what.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Wow. This video could go viral just in time to do Mitt Romney some *SERIOUS* damage among the Evangelical right-wing voters! 

    • Baal

       I like October of presidential election years for a reason.

  • Peter Eakin

     When will a ‘journalist’ finally ask Mittens if he believes this shit? Maybe, just maybe, Obama will ask him  for us during the debate. 

    • Thomas Farrell

       No, Obama won’t touch that one with a 10 foot pole. He knows damned well that Romney would just scream that Obama is a bigot, and 100% of the republican base, plus a good percentage of uneducated undecides, plus a good percentage of people who are presently planning to vote for Obama but don’t know , would believe it, and Romney would win in a landslide.

      This particular message has to come from third parties.

      • amycas

         Also, I’m pretty sure that discussions about Romney’s religion are barred from the debates by that contract they signed.

    • http://www.wecreatedgod.com/ Whyadam

      Even if they asked, Mitt is smart enough not to answer.  You gotta have some God if you want to be president.  I listed the silly Mormon beliefs here:  
      http://wecreatedgod.com/my-faith-defines-me/ 
      There is no way a guys as  smart as Mitt believes this stuff, but he’s gotta say he has some God so Christians will vote for him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Baerg/100000827478206 Jim Baerg

    I was raised without religion & this strikes me as no crazier than Christianity or Islam. The whole planet Kolob thing is an interesting injection of relatively recent astronomical knowledge or speculation into the religion. Cf: Giordano Bruno getting murdered by the Catholic church for speculating about other worlds orbiting other stars having intelligent life.

    • Stev84

      Have you read the stuff about how American Indians are really descendants of some Jewish tribe that came to the continent long ago? That parts sounds a lot crazier than Christianity or Islam. Sure Christianity has some made up history too (like the Jewish exile in Egypt), but as whacky as some of that is (like wandering around in a desert for 40 years), it’s still more plausible than Mormonism

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Baerg/100000827478206 Jim Baerg

        My comment was only on  the stuff mentioned in the original post. But I’m not sure I would change my statement when I include other Mormon doctrines.

        Joseph Smith did make the mistake of making claims like the origin of the Amerindians that would become falsifiable over the next century, & which were implausible even with the knowledge of the the time. However, talking snakes? a worldwide flood? Virgin birth? resurrection? Flying horse taking a prophet to heaven? All the major religions have some pretty wacky stuff in them.

        • Willy Occam

          Yeah, I have never understood how mainstream Christians have much of a leg to stand on when accusing Mormons (or Scientologists) of crazy beliefs.  Sure, those religions are more recent, and the founders had access to a broader knowledge base than the founders of the Abrahamic religions; but how anybody can still believe any of that crap in the twenty-first century is beyond me. 

    • http://www.flickr.com/groups/invisiblepinkunicorn Anna

      Yes, the video didn’t seem any stranger to me than the Catholic First Communion ceremonies that I’ve had the displeasure of attending.

  • Guest

    Which Mormon temple is this taken from? Do all Mormon temples have that kind of ceremony? So, all of a sudden Mormons are bad guys? I am sure those in unions like teachers are not too bothered with the unemployment rate. When more people don’t have jobs, those with will be better off in comparison for sure.

    • Deven Kale

       Do you have a point? Each sentence bounces from one subject to another so fast I can’t quite figure out what it is you’re trying to say.

      As for the temple question: Yes, all Mormon temples have these ceremonies. It’s actually the entire reason those temples are built in the first place. There also must be something going on in there not covered by these videos: there’s a lot more space inside those things than the few rooms shown.

      • Guest

        Sorry, I assumed everyone read between the lines. I have heard that there are many Mormon sects so I have always thought that they are different as one church from another. You seem to know a lot about Mormon ceremony and been to many many. But I am not a very trusting person, so for any piece of information I receive I usually counter check-ie if I find the subject interesting enough.
        It is so obvious that the article is aimed at one political party and the person writing the article does seem to have self-interest. If the unemployment remains high or get higher don’t you think I’d be better off if my job and salary is secure irrespective of how I perform. The mean income will decrease making me better off. The candidate favored by the writer certainly does not have a very good record at creating jobs. So it was just my way of making fun of the writer.

        • Baby_Raptor

          I saw no bias in that article. Nowhere was Obama mentioned, or Obama’s religion. All I saw was a writer being concerned about a presidential candidate’s religious belief. Are you projecting? 

          Also, Obama has done the best he can with a Congress containing a bunch of Republicans who are set on doing nothing but making him fail. They openly brag about it…I’m sure you can find those quotes if you hit up Google. You should take that into consideration before you rag on him for his job numbers.

          And guess what? Despite the Republicans’ childishness, the economy is improving. The majority of his presidency has seen job growth anyway. So you don’t even really have a point. 

        • Patterrssonn

          Doesn’t help that what were supposed to read between the lines, makes even less sense than the original allusion.

        • Glasofruix

          And how does mittens perform on the whole “job creator” business?

    • RobertoTheChi

      Huh? What?

    • amycas

       No, this doesn’t make Mormons “bad guys.” It makes Mormons people who believe weird things.

  • michael both

    Hmm, I had previously only heard Elohim mentioned in Stephen Donaldson books and in some Raelian literature. This brings a new level of WTF to Mormonism for me. Of course, you have to be insane or deluded to really buy into religion in the first place….

    • JohnnieCanuck

      While I wouldn’t recommend reading the original source, Wiki claims that the word Elohim occurs 2500 times in the Hebrew bible. In the Old Testament it is often translated as God, god, gods or even judge, depending on which plural is used.

      It also says that it shares a common linguistic root with ‘Allah’.

      I’d go with deluded, myself. Though there’s also the death row case of John Ferguson in Florida where the judge recently declared him not innocent by reason of insanity because his paranoid schizophrenia too closely resembled Christian belief.

  • Stan

    Yeesh!  Crazy much?

  • Earl G.

    I love how religious ridiculousness becomes so plain when viewed from the outside.  If only more folks would bother to view their own brand of lunacy from the outside once in a while.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706781030 Barry St. Denis

    I am sure, just my opinion, that religion and the need for it arises from the primitive section of our brain.  No troll responses please.  We are all entitled to our own opinion.

    • The Other Weirdo

       But not when it affects other people who have nothing to do with it.

  • Ray Mansell

    There’s no religious test for public office, and that’s a good thing.

    While there may not be an explicit religious test, there certainly is an implicit one.

    • Baal

       Yes, and atheists fail for want of being protestant.

      • Deven Kale

         Ummmm, what?

  • Brian Scott

    Honestly, I found this interesting from a religious studies point of view. The most sinister thing in that video would be the vow to implement Mormon theonomy. Everything else just fascinates me.

    The only reason this has any controversy is because it gets the orthodox Trinitarians in a tizzy, so they can cry “Mormons are pagans!” and carry on conspiracy theories about the Freemasons.

  • Sailor
  • OCRazor

    Their security system is a veil, a verbal password, and handshake? 

    They seriously need to update to modern technology; a palm scanner and a 128byte encrypted password on a jump drive would be much easier and more secure. 

    • Glasofruix

       You can’t really keep those with you in the afterlife, i’ve heard :p

  • John

    These videos were released by someone going under the pseudonym NewNameNoah.  His Facebook page is here:

    https://www.facebook.com/NewNameNoah?fref=ts

    He claims he has videos of Mitt Romney wearing his temple garments, but he hasn’t released them yet.  I’m hoping that he indeed DOES have those videos and that he gets them out ASAP.

    Seeing Mitt wearing the baker’s hat is definitely news worthy

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    You know, I understand the origins of some religious rituals, like baptism (symbolically crossing a threshold), but secret handshakes are just so obviously made up, in the recent past. It’s like making a club when you’re a kid, with secret handshakes to be extra cool. 

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke, Blonde

    the part i find fascinating is the mormon belief that loyal practitioners will ascend to the status of ‘royalty’ or even ‘godhood’ in the afterlife. insecure much? the whole silliness about getting your own planet, etc., really says something to me about their real motivations. which is to say, not to be one with some perfect god being basking in mutual love, but status! power! control! 

    and frankly, i’m sick and tired of being told i have to ‘respect’ people who subscribe to this or any other ridiculous nonsense because it’s ‘rude’ to point out how ridiculous it all is. i include all the religions when i say this, but truly, there are some very extreme ones out there that deserve extra derision, and this is one of them. 

    • abnormal

      You don’t have to ‘respect’ the religious dogma but rather show tolerance and cultural sensitivity to the members of your diverse community. LDS folks are more then often very good people, they are your neighbors, coworkers and sometimes family and friends. Their religion is sacred and this is very common throughout mankind and not at all inhuman or weird. They truly believe LDS gives meaning and good moral judgement to their lives.This ultimately brings them closer to Jesus, God and eternal salvation. These are acceptable and common themes in the western society, we should not marginalize or belittle people for it.

      Who are we to judge them wrong?

      I know people who “practice” yoga and meditation. I don’t mock them for doing mystical rituals rooted in irrational central Asian religious practices. They do it for better health, relaxation and sometimes spiritual well being. Mormons are not that different. Their religion is huge and growing fast, there is something to that. A lot of people relate and find guidance and sense a higher spiritual plane with the LDS route. They say if you “feel it”, the bosom of the Lord, when you follow and pray over path of ole Joe Smith.

      It’s a bit of a leap for me, I prefer a more encompassing, accepting and less masonic theology. But I have to admit it sometimes makes me wonder, there’s a lot of smart people who swear by it. Lot of smart people who leave it too but they don’t often denounce it fully.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.fruetel John Fruetel

        Yeah, I used to do all these things with members of the LDS until they,had the nerve to heavily endorse proposition 8 in California. The Mormons, of all people, have absolutely NO right to look down on other peoples “non-traditional” marriages.

        So even thought I gave these people a lot of slack in the past, they are now fair game to have their weird and bizarre beliefs and customs exposed and ridiculed by the world. If they want to stay out of the public’s eye, they should just keep to themselves and stay out of politics.

        The LDS felt the same way about blacks for ages. I’m hoping to live long enough to see the first gay marriage happen in the SLC temple. I think it will happen in my lifetime.

  • Sunny Day

    On one hand you have people saying words and invoking supernatural powers on the other you have people saying words and invoking supernatural powers.

    Why is one called Witchcraft and the other is called Religion?

    • amycas

       To be fair, witchcraft, or wicca, is considered a religion these days.

  • Greg1466

    While I’d agree that all of the other religions are just as wacky, the whole receiving directions from a recorded (or are they going for disembodied?) voice was a little more unnerving than usual.  Kind of felt like watching an old Star Trek episode where the voice is really coming from a computer in a hidden room.

    • Antinomian

      “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

      • RowanVT

         That was exactly the feeling I got, plus flashbacks to Babe: “That’ll do pig, that’ll do.”

  • Simab

    And Obama believes in bowing his head and praying to the sky in a cathedral decorated with images of a man being tortured to death. The only difference is that Obama doesn’t base his decisions on his faith to the degree that Romney does. 

  • Harrystamper727

    I’ll tell you what a dangerous cult is, it’s unionized school teachers!  this cult has done more damage to America than all religions together and the author is part of it……

  • sad

    It makes me sad to have relatives who are Mormon. Just over 30 years ago, the Mormons believe God changed his mind about black people. Before that, the color of your skin determined whether you had reached a spiritual level high enough to allow you to fully participate in the church. How lucky for all the white people in the church that their skin proved they were worthy. 
    Every Mormon must somehow rationalize how their religion can be true and still be one of the biggest organized group of racists in the world (not to mention sexist and homophobic). Of course, they do not have the corner on any of those markets, unfortunately. They just have the distinction of being a fairly new American religion that embraced those noble beliefs. 

  • http://twitter.com/cr0sh Andrew Ayers

    What I’d like to know is what Romney’s views are on his religion’s goal of placing or getting members in every position of office or high power that they can; I mean, Joseph Smith ran for President way back when – but why?

    This isn’t a secret; this has been stated by various writers and historians. It’s not quite as bad as Scientology’s goals, but it is strange all the same. Why was Smith so gung-ho on the presidency? Why is Romney now? Will Romney answer to the People, or will he answer to First Presidency/Quorum in Utah?

    I seriously think a lot of people aren’t aware of just what all this could possibly mean, and by not questioning it or discussing it, we all may be in for a rude awakening should Romney be elected. Or we may not be – we really don’t know! Ultimately, I just don’t want a precedent set that leads us down the path to a Margaret Atwood plot…

  • Robster

    These mormon thingy people are space cadets. Their temples look like bunkers with gargoyles and their rituals, that has to be a set up, doesn’t it…please???

  • YerTickin’MeOff

    I saw the last word of the title as ‘Evil’ before I resolved it to ‘Veil’….kinda funny


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