Artikkelit > Temppelisivu


Sandra ja Jerald Tanner

Temple Rites

The Book of Mormon indicates that temples were important in the New World, but it gives very little information about what kinds of activities occurred within their walls. There were temples in the cities of Nephi, Zarahemla, Lehi-Nephi, and Bountiful, and the text also refers to other temples among both the Nephites and Lamanites. Jacob, king Benjamin, and king Limhi all called their people to their respective temples to receive instruction, and Benjamin's people performed sacrifices and burnt offerings, when they gathered to the temple. But the Book of Mormon tells us little more than these few facts.

Joseph Smith organized a School of the Prophets, and Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants (December 1832) specifies the form of ritual which was to be observed in the school. The president of the school was to be the first to enter the house of God, where he was to offer prayer while kneeling. As others entered, he was to rise, lifting his hands to heaven, and say:

"Art thou a brother or brethren? I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant I receive you to fellowship, in a determination that is fixed, immovable, and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all the commandments of God blameless, in thanksgiving, forever and ever. Amen" (D&C 88:133).

Those who entered were also to raise their hands to heaven and repeat the covenant, but anyone who was found to be unworthy was to be excluded. Anyone who was received into the school also had to undergo a ritual washing of the feet:

"And he shall be received by the ordinance of the washing of feet, for unto this end was the ordinance of the washing of feet instituted. And again, the ordinance of washing feet is to be administered by the president, or presiding elder of the church. It is to be commenced with prayer; and after partaking of bread and wine, he is to gird himself according to the pattern given in the thirteenth chapter of John's testimony concerning me. Amen" (D&C 88:139-41).

John 13:4-5 states that Jesus "laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded." Section 88 seems to be the prototype, which formed the basis for later temple rituals.

On 1 June 1833 Joseph dictated a revelation, in which the Lord called for the building of a house, "in the which house I design to endow those whom I have chosen with power from on high" (D&C 95:8). The upper portion of the house was reserved for "the school of mine apostles."

The cornerstones of the Kirtland temple were laid on 23 July 1833, and the temple was dedicated on 27 March 1836. As completion of the temple neared, Joseph continued to refer to the promised endowment and insisted that it was necessary to perform the ordinance of washing of feet "in order to make the foundation of this church complete and permanent" (Joseph Smith 1984, 81). The ordinances of washing and anointing were finally performed on 21 January 1836. After receiving his anointing and blessing, Joseph beheld a vision of the celestial kingdom (D&C 137), while heavenly visions were opened to others: "some of them saw the face of the Saviour, and others were ministered unto by holy angels, and the spirit of prophesy and revelation was poured out in mighty power" (Joseph Smith 1984, 147).

During the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland temple on 27 March 1836, Joseph specifically compared the endowment with the New Testament Pentecost: "Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high: let it be fulfilled upon them as upon those on the day of Pentacost: let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof. And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory" (Joseph Smith 1984, 176-77; D&C 109:35-37). In the gospel of John, Jesus promised the disciples that the Father would send another Comforter, the Spirit of truth, the Holy Ghost, which would teach them all things and guide them in all truth ( John 14:16-17, 26; 16:13). In the gospel of Luke, the resurrected Christ told the disciples, "and, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). Acts describes the descent of the Holy Ghost: "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:1-4). Acts claims further that this event was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel: "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17). On 30 March about 300 people met in the temple, where they witnessed the washing of the feet of the twelve apostles. Joseph then stated that he "had now completed the organization of the church and we had passed through all the necessary ceremonies, that I had given them all the instruction they needed" (Joseph Smith 1984, 183).

The climax of the temple dedication and endowment occurred on 3 April. During the afternoon service in the temple, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery stood at the pulpit, while veils were lowered around them. Behind the veils, a vision unfolded: "They saw the Lord standing upon the breast work of the pulpit before them, and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold" (Joseph Smith 1984, 186; D&C 110:2). Then Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared in turn. Moses gave to Joseph and Oliver the keys of the gathering of Israel and the ten tribes; Elias conferred the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham; and Elijah committed to them the keys of this dispensation. These spiritual manifestations have biblical parallels. Moses, Aaron, and other elders of Israel saw God, "and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone" (Exod. 24:10). In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus said that he would give Peter the keys of the kingdom and the power to bind and loose. Six days later, Peter, James, and John witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus and the appearance of Moses and Elijah.

During a discourse at the funeral of Seymour Brunson on 15 August 1840, Joseph Smith enunciated a new doctrine of baptism for the dead. Joseph received a revelation on 19 January 1841, in which the Lord stated that the ordinance of baptism for the dead had been instituted before the foundation of the world and was practiced within the tabernacle which Moses was commanded to build (D&C 124). On 11 June 1843 Joseph taught that Jesus knew of and practiced the temple ordinances, including baptism for the dead. Referring to 1 Peter 3:19, Joseph said that Christ preached to the spirits in prison, after his death, so that they could receive the gospel and "could have it answered by proxey by those who live on the earth &c" (Joseph Smith 1980, 211). The object of performing baptism and all of the other ordinances for the dead was not merely to obtain their salvation. The temple rites were also meant to seal the living with the dead, forming an unbroken chain all the way back to Adam, thereby organizing all of the families of the earth into kingdoms, each man standing at the head of his own posterity and adding his kingdom to that of his father.

The temple endowment contains elements which are undeniably derived from Masonic ritual, including tokens, names, signs, grips, and penalties for revealing the secret rites. Joseph Smith had in fact been accepted into the Nauvoo Lodge of Freemasons on 15 March 1842. On 24 June 1843 the cornerstone for a Masonic temple was laid by Hyrum Smith, who was the Worshipful Master of the lodge of ancient York Masons. Many Mormons joined the Masonic lodge, and King Follett, who gave his name to Joseph's famous discourse on the plurality of gods, was buried with Masonic honors, not long after the Masonic temple was dedicated. Nonetheless, it must be acknowledged that Joseph had been planning temples for many years and had formulated ordinances of washing and anointing for the Kirtland temple, long before he was initiated into Masonry. He had also already enunciated many major doctrines prior to becoming a Mason. Indeed it could be argued that Joseph incorporated Masonry, not because it had anything substantial to contribute to Mormon doctrine, but because Joseph wanted and needed the loyalty and support of the worldwide fraternity of Masons.

It is significant that Joseph's first formulation of the endowment was in conjunction with the school of the prophets and that the primary ordinance of washing of feet was in imitation of the acts of Jesus. This indicates that the endowment originally drew upon Hebrew and Christian tradition, rather than Masonry. The Book of Mormon may have described such an endowment, together with its teachings on the holy order of God, or the high priesthood. The concept of a school of the prophets was probably derived from Hebrew myth. According to Jewish tradition, Melchizedek, who held the high priesthood, was Shem, the son of Noah, and Abraham obtained his wisdom by studying in the school of Shem and Eber for thirty-nine years. Isaac and Jacob were also students in the school, and Jacob passed on what he had learned to his son Joseph. Furthermore, Joseph Smith taught that although God had removed Moses and the greater priesthood, because of the hard-heartedness of the Israelites, the priesthood was continued among the prophets. The Old Testament gives us further information about what might be described as a school of prophets. After the prophet Samuel anointed Saul with oil, he told Saul to go on the road to Bethel: "thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy: and the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man" (1 Sam. 10:5-6). Again, after Samuel had anointed David, David fled from Saul to Samuel at Ramah and both of them went to Naioth: "And Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as appointed over them, the Spirit of God was upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied" (1 Sam. 19:20). This company of prophets, headed by Samuel, might be interpreted as the successor of the school of Shem and Eber.

Thus the concept of an endowment, which was conferred upon the members of a school of prophets, could easily have been derived from the Bible and Jewish tradition. In addition, Paul frequently uses the language of the mysteries in his epistles. He states that God ordained the true mysteries before the world was made (1 Cor. 2:6-7), that Christ revealed the mysteries to his apostles and prophets (Eph. 3:3-5), and that the mysteries have been hidden for ages (Col. 1:25-28). Paul also relates his experience of being caught up into the third heaven, where he "heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2 Cor. 12:4). Furthermore, the New Testament uses language referring to Christ as the chief cornerstone, which was later adopted as a symbol in Masonry (Acts 4:11, 1 Cor. 3:10-11, Eph. 2:20-22, 1 Peter 2:7). According to the Book of Moses, which Joseph Smith wrote in 1830, Cain entered into a compact with Satan, sealed by an oath, which gave Cain mastery over a great secret, and Cain was called Master Mahan. Cains' secret combination, instituted by Satan, was obviously a perversion of the holy order of God, and its secret oaths and covenants must have mimicked the true oaths and covenants of the priesthood. This again provides evidence that the Book of Mormon originally described an endowment in connection with the greater priesthood.

Joseph Smith's decision to introduce baptism for the dead was clearly influenced by his discovery of evidence which seemed to support the practice. In a letter to the apostles written on 15 December 1840, Joseph said that he had knowledge independent of the Bible that the rite had been practiced by the ancient churches. In a discourse on 15 April 1842, Joseph may have revealed what this evidence was.

Chrysostum says that the Marcionites practiced baptism for their dead. "After a catechumen was dead, they had a living man under the bed of the deceased; then coming to the dead man, they asked him whether he would receive baptism, and he making no answer, the other answered for him, and said that he would be baptized in his stead; and so they baptized the living for the dead." The church of course at that time was degenerate, and the particular form might be incorrect, but the thing is sufficiently plain in the Scriptures, hence Paul, in speaking of the doctrine, says, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?" (I Cor. xv:29) (Joseph Smith 1976, 222)

Furthermore, in a sermon which he delivered on 1 May 1842, Joseph stated:

"There are signs in heaven, earth, and hell, the Elders must know them all to be endowed with power, to finish their work and prevent imposition. The devil knows many signs but does not know the sign of the Son of Man, or Jesus. No one can truly say he knows God until he has handled something, and this can only be in the Holiest of Holies" (Joseph Smith 1980, 120).

This may reveal some knowledge of Gnosticism and the pagan mysteries. During the mysteries, sacred symbols were revealed to the initiate and were sometimes handled. In addition, some Gnostic sects believed that the dead had to be able to recite secret formulae, in order to pass by those beings who acted as the guardians of heaven. Kurt Rudolph explains:

"Irenaeus also discussed the motif of the ascent of soul using the secret agencies and describes an actual ceremony for the dead which was organized for this purpose. Secret sayings were imparted to the dead man which he had to recite against the 'powers' in order to ascend on high" (Rudolph 1987, 174).

Another ceremony is also described:

"The performance of this 'redemption' ritual for the dying, as Irenaeus informs us in the same chapter, involves pouring 'oil and water' on their head, together with the above-named invocations, in order that 'they may become unassailable by and invisible to the powers and authorities, and that their "inner man" may ascend above the realm of the invisible, whilst their body remains behind in the created world, and their soul is delivered to the Demiurge'. For safe passage through the barriers of the archons the well-known pass-words were imparted to the deceased . . . ." (Rudolph 1987, 244).

Section 132 of the Doctrine and Covenants states that if a man and a woman are married for time and eternity, but are not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through someone who is anointed with the keys of the priesthood, their marriage is not valid after death: "when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass." However, if a man and woman are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, "they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads" (D&C 132:18-19).

During the temple endowment ceremony, participants receive the secret signs and tokens of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, which they must be able to recite after death in order to pass through the veil and be admitted into the presence of God.

According to Joseph Smith's doctrines, a person who dies without the law will go to a spirit prison in the terrestrial kingdom, where he must hear and accept the gospel, and baptism and other rites must be performed for his salvation. The 1918 vision of Joseph F. Smith also insists that the dead are taught "repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins" (D&C 138:33) However, Mormon clearly and emphatically rejects this doctrine:

"For behold that all little children are alive in Christ, and also all they that are without the law. For the power of redemption cometh on all them that have no law; wherefore, he that is not condemned, or he that is under no condemnation, cannot repent; and unto such baptism availeth nothing -- but it is mockery before God, denying the mercies of Christ, and the power of his Holy Spirit, and putting trust in dead works. Behold, my son, this thing ought not to be; for repentance is unto them that are under condemnation and under the curse of a broken law" (Moroni 8:22-24).

The conditions which Joseph Smith imposed make everyone subject to the law. Therefore, everyone has need of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins. It follows that baptism for the dead is an absolute necessity.

Mormon's denunciation of baptism for those who die without the law occurs in a letter to his son Moroni, in which he also rejects the baptism of children. Mormon's epistle is proof that baptism for the dead was being practiced among the Nephites, although it is not described anywhere else in the Book of Mormon.

In the early years of the church, the ordinance of sealing included not only the sealing of wives to their husbands, but also the adoption of men by other men. The law of adoption is mentioned frequently in the journals of John D. Lee. Lee was the second man to become the adopted son of Brigham Young, and he referred to Brigham as his "father in Israel." Those who were adopted became the "family" of the adoptive father and regarded him as their "counselor."

But the law of adoption had far-reaching effects upon the salvation of the adopted sons and their posterity. The law of adoption and seal of the covenant were intended to extend the chain of the priesthood all the way back to Adam, thus making all of those who are sealed the family of Adam. Although each man was to stand at the head of his own family, Brigham stated, "Those that are adopted into my family and take me for their counsellor, if I continue faithfully I will preside over them throughout all eternity and will stand at their head" (Lee 1984, 83).

This doctrine led to jealous competition among some church members to adopt the most sons and build up the largest kingdom, in order to obtain the highest exaltation.

Apparently, the law of adoption was necessary, because of the difficulty of tracing one's ancestry all the way back to Adam. Adoption was the means through which unrelated people were welded together as links in the chain of the priesthood. The law of adoption was rooted in the Lord's promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:2-3).

In Paul's epistles, we find the clearest delineation of the concept of adoption into the family of Abraham. In Romans, Paul argues that those who are led by the Spirit receive "the Spirit of adoption" and become the sons of God, joint-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:14-17). In Galatians 3:29, Paul declares, "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Joseph Smith often spoke of becoming joint-heirs with Christ, and he taught that the effect of the Holy Ghost upon someone who was not a literal descendant of Abraham was "to purge out the old blood & make him actually of the seed of Abraham" (Joseph Smith 1980, 4).

The law of adoption also has parallels in Roman history. Beginning with Julius Caesar, adoption became a means by which emperors designated their successors. Caesar adopted Gaius Octavius, who became known as Augustus. Augustus adopted his two grandsons, Gaius and Lucius, but after both met with early deaths, he adopted his stepson Tiberius and ordered Tiberius to adopt his nephew Germanicus. Tiberius became emperor and was succeeded by Gaius (Caligula), the son of Germanicus.

After Caligula died at the age of twenty-nine, Claudius became emperor and adopted his nephew Nero. Nero was succeeded by Galba, who had been adopted by his stepmother. Galba in turn adopted Piso. However, this chain of adoptions was ended by Otho, who overthrew Galba. Later, the emperor Nerva adopted Trajan, who in turn adopted Hadrian.

After Aelius Verus, who had been adopted by Hadrian, met with an untimely death, his son was adopted by Antoninus Pius. Hadrian adopted Pius and designated him as his successor, on condition that Pius adopt his younger brother Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who followed Pius as emperor.

Thus the transference of the office of emperor from father to son was purely fictitious, relying upon the adoption of one man by another. It should also be remembered that Jacob adopted as his own sons the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were given a place among the twelve tribes of Israel. Since the law of adoption has parallels in both the Bible and Roman history, it is likely that it formed a part of the Book of Mormon.

The law of adoption was one application of the sealing power and one way to increase the extent of the kingdom over which a person would rule. But, of course, the primary sealing ordinance was the binding of a wife to her husband for eternity. And as the doctrine developed, not merely one wife, but any number of wives could be sealed to one man, thereby increasing his posterity and his kingdom.

However, the Book of Mormon again opposes this doctrine. It condemns the polygamy practiced by David and Solomon, the Nephites, king Noah, and Riplakish (Jacob 1:15, 2:23-27; Mosiah 11:2; Ether 10:5). There is evidence that Joseph Smith was privately teaching the principle of plural marriage as early as 1832, but it was not until after John C. Bennett publicly exposed the practice of polygamy among the Mormons in 1842 that Joseph dictated a revelation on celestial marriage.

The revelation begins by contradicting the Book of Mormon, stating that David and Solomon and other biblical figures were justified in having many wives and concubines (D&C 132:1-4, 38-39).

However, the Book of Mormon does provide a loophole, forseeing the possibility that conditions might arise in which polygamy would be permitted: "For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things" (Jacob 2:30).

The Book of Mormon requires that if Gentiles are to share in the promises given to the Nephites concerning the land of liberty and the New Jerusalem, they must be adopted into the family of Lehi. This might necessitate intermarriage, and therefore, polygamy would be acceptable as a method for hastening the integration of Gentiles into the family of Lehi, guaranteeing them an inheritance in the New Jerusalem and creating a righteous branch of the house of Joseph.

Some writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries voiced approval of polygamy. In his essay Of Cannibals, Montaigne described the marriage customs of the noble savages of the New World.

The men there have several wives, and the higher their reputation for valour the greater is the number of their wives. It is a remarkably beautiful feature in their marriages, that the same jealousy that our wives have to keep us from the love and favors of other women, they have to an equal degree to procure it. Being more solicitous for their husbands' honour than for anything else, they use their best endeavours to have as many companions as they can, seeing that that is a proof of their husbands' worth.

Ours will cry 'miracle', but it is not so. It is after all a proper matrimonial virtue, but of the highest order. And in the Bible, Leah, Rachel, Sarah and Jacob's wives accommodated their husbands with their fair handmaids ... . (Montaigne 1980, 1311)

In his poem Absalom and Achitophel, John Dryden wrote:

In pious times, ere priestcraft did begin,
Before polygamy was made a sin;
When man on many multiplied his kind,
Ere one to one was cursedly confined;
When nature prompted and no law denied
Promiscuous use of concubine and bride;
Then Israel's monarch after Heaven's own heart,
His vigorous warmth did variously impart
To wives and slaves ... .
(Dryden 1986, 1794)

In the early years of the church, polygamy was often referred to as the patriarchal order of marriage. Sentiments like those of Montaigne and Dryden may have provided the suggestion that polygamy among the Indians was a vestige of the true patriarchal order of marriage and that the more wives a man had, the higher was his status in the priesthood.

John C. Bennett joined the Mormons, after they had settled in Nauvoo, Illinois, and quickly rose to positions of importance as mayor of the city and assistant president of the church. After charges were brought against him of teaching a system of "spiritual wifery" and improper conduct with women, Bennett was separated from the church. He wrote an exposé, alleging that Joseph Smith had established three orders of women, known as the Cyprian Saints, the Chambered Sisters of Charity, and the Cloistered Saints or Consecratees of the Cloister.

According to Bennett, the Cyprian Saints were women who had been interrogated by members of the Relief Society and were found guilty of lapsing from the straight path of virtue. They were excluded from the Relief Society and were "set apart and appropriated to the gratification of the vilest appetites of the brutal Priests and Elders of the Mormon Church" (Bennett 1842, 221). Bennett described the Chambered Sisters of Charity as follows:

This order comprises that class of females who indulge their sensual propensities, without restraint, whether married or single, by the express permission of the Prophet. Whenever one of the "Saints," (as the Mormons style themselves,), of the male sex, becomes enamored of a female, and she responds to the feeling by a reciprocal manifestation, the loving brother goes to Holy Joe, and states the case. It makes, by the bye, no difference whatever if one or both the parties are already provided with conjugal helpmates. The Prophet gravely buries his face in his hat, in which lies his peep-stone, and inquires of the Lord what are his will and pleasure in the matter. Sometimes, when Joe wants the woman for his own purposes, an unfavorable answer is given; but, generally, the reply permits the parties to follow the bent of their inclinations ... . (Bennett 1842, 221-22)

The Cloistered Saints were "composed of females, whether married or unmarried, who, by an express grant and gift of God, through his Prophet the Holy Joe, are set apart and consecrated to the use and benefit of particular individuals, as secret, spiritual wives" (Bennett 1842, 223). As in the former case, the prophet inquired of the Lord, and if a favorable answer was received, the two parties went through a ceremony in the lodge room.

It is doubtful that the three orders described by Bennett ever existed, but his allegations had some elements of truth. The Relief Society did in fact interrogate at least a few women concerning rumors of improper and unvirtuous conduct. But rather than consigning these women to the ranks of Cyprian Saints, the Society, under the leadership of Emma Smith, actually worked against the teaching of polygamy.

Nonetheless, unknown to Emma, Joseph secretly married a number of the leading women of the Society. Furthermore, some older women, such as Elizabeth Durfee and Elizabeth Allred, were used by Mormon leaders to approach other women:

"Sometimes referred to as 'Mothers in Israel,' they assisted Joseph by contacting women, explaining the new order of marriage to them, and occasionally delivering marriage proposals" (Newell and Avery 1984, 109).

Although the Book of Mormon refers to the wives and concubines of the Jaredites and Nephites, it does not describe the existence of various orders of women. Nonetheless, there is the possibility that Bennett derived his account of the three orders from the record which contained the history of the secret works and abominations of the Jaredites.

Bennett's allegation that Joseph inquired of the Lord through his peep-stone concerning sexual and matrimonial liaisons also recalls the stone of Gazelem (Alma 37:23), which was for the purpose of discovering secret works and abominations.

If a system of prostitutes and spiritual wives was described in the Book of Mormon, an important source may have been Eusebius's account of certain heretics. Eusebius quotes from a report of a church synod regarding Paul of Samosata, who became bishop of Antioch and taught that Christ was an ordinary man:

Yet those who sing hymns and praises to him in the congregation say that their blasphemous teacher is an angel come down from heaven; and he allows this to go on even when he is there to hear, such is his vanity. And what of his 'spiritual brides', as the Antioch people call them? and those of his presbyters and deacons, with whom he joins in concealing this and their other incurable sins ... .

... we are aware also how many through taking 'spiritual brides' have fallen, while others have become suspect. ... How could he reprove another man, or advise him not to associate any longer with a 'bride', for fear of a slip -- as Scripture warns us -- when he has dismissed one already and now has two in his house, both young and pretty, whom he takes round with him whenever he leaves home ... . (Eusebius 1965, 317-18)

In another passage, Eusebius quotes Irenaeus on the "mysteries" of a man named Marcus:

"Some of them fit out a bridal chamber, and celebrate a mystery with invocations on those being initiated, declaring that what they are doing is a spiritual marriage on the pattern of the unions above; others take the candidates to water and baptize them ... ." (Eusebius 1965, 164).

Bennett's 1842 exposé also described ceremonies which took place in the Order Lodge:

"One of the most curious and ludicrous ceremonies, connected with the initiation into Order Lodge, is this: After the precious ointment has been poured upon the candidate, a hole is cut in the bosom of his shirt. This shirt must never, on any account, be worn again, but must be sacredly preserved, to keep the Destroying Angel from them and their families. These shirts are committed to the care of the wives of the members, and none but them must touch them, or know of their existence. They believe that these shirts will preserve them from death, and secure to them an earthly immortality ... ." (Bennett 1842, 277).

Joseph Smith later designed temple garments which were to be worn under regular clothing, and Mormons continue to believe that the garments have the power to guard the wearer from bodily harm. The temple garments obviously symbolize the clothing which God gave to Adam and Eve before they were expelled from the Garden of Eden:

"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them" (Gen. 3:21).

But the beliefs concerning the magical power of the garments also reveals the influence of Jewish legend. Rappoport relates the history of Adam's garment:

This garment Adam had left to Enoch, Enoch to Methuselah, and Methuselah to Noah who took it with him into the ark. Here Ham stole it and left it to his son Kush. It was in this garment that Nimrod arrayed himself, thus becoming invulnerable and invincible. He easily conquered all his enemies and slew all the hostile armies. Arrayed in the clothes which God had made for Adam and Eve, Nimrod was possessed of great power. . . . Esau, the son of Isaac, who was also a mighty hunter, saw the coats which the Almighty had once made for Adam and Eve, and he coveted them in his heart. He was very anxious to make himself possessed of this precious raiment, hoping thus to become a mighty and powerful hunter and hero by means of these clothes. Esau, therefore, slew Nimrod and took the raiment from him, and was thus enabled to catch the animals and become a cunning hunter. The clothes were subsequently concealed in the earth by Jacob, who said that none was worthy to wear them. (Rappoport 1987, 1:234-35)

Another version of this myth says that Shem/Melchizedek gave the garment to Abraham and that it passed from one generation to another, until Moses gave it to Aaron as the robe of the high priest.


The teachings of the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Lectures on Faith reveal that their author took an eclectic, philosophical approach. The theological and cosmological views are gleaned not only from the Bible, but also from Sabellianism and the writings of Plato, Philo, the Greek Atomists, and Descartes.

The cosmology of the Book of Abraham and the Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar also draws upon Cicero and Philo. It is impossible to believe that Joseph Smith would have consulted these philosophical sources or that he could have integrated them into a coherent and rational explanation of God and the universe.

The haphazard manner in which he introduced his later teachings on God, wholly inconsistent with the earlier doctrines, demonstrates that he did not have the intellectual depth and training to craft a cosmology, and that he was revising another person's scheme.

The Book of Mormon must have distinguished between different orders of the priesthood. In fact, the Doctrine and Covenants seems to give information about the Aaronic, Melchizedek, and patriarchal priesthoods, which is missing from the Book of Mormon.

Joseph and Oliver tried initially to suppress the distinction between greater and lesser orders of the priesthood, opting for a more simplified structure. If Joseph had written the Book of Mormon and had worked out the history of the priesthood and its various orders, it is unlikely that he would have first removed the information from the Book of Mormon and then later reintroduced it in such a confusing manner.

There are strong disagreements between the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's later teachings on baptism for the dead and polygamy. If Joseph had written the Book of Mormon, it is difficult to believe that he would have changed his views so drastically as to proclaim new doctrines which directly oppose those of the Book of Mormon.

The new teachings reveal that they came from the same mind that conceived the Book of Mormon, for they seem to draw upon such sources as the Bible, Roman history, Hebrew legends, Eusebius, and Montaigne. It is unlikely that Joseph Smith would have utilized all of these sources in formulating new doctrines. We are led to conclude that Joseph did not write the Book of Mormon and that even his new teachings did not come from his own imagination.


Arrian. 1971. The Campaigns of Alexander.
Rev. ed. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Revised by J. R. Hamilton. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.
Augustine. 1984. Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans.
Translated by Henry Bettenson. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.
Bennett, John C. 1842. The History of the Saints; or, an Exposé of Joe Smith and Mormonism.
Boston: Leland & Whiting.
Cicero. 1971. Cicero: On the Good Life.
Translated by Michael Grant. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.
Descartes, Rene. 1960. Meditations on First Philosophy.
2d rev. ed. Translated by Laurence J. LaFleur. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., The Library of Liberal Arts.
Dryden, John. 1986. Absalom and Achitophel. In The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
Vol. 1. 5th ed. Edited by M. H. Abrams. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Eusebius. 1965. The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine.
Translated by G. A. Williamson. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.
Josephus, Flavius. 1974. The Works of Flavius Josephus.
4 vols. Translated by William Whiston. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House.
Lee, John D. 1984. Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-47 and 1859.
Edited by Charles Kelly. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.
Livy. 1960. The Early History of Rome.
Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books.
Lundwall, N. B., comp. A Compilation Containing the Lectures on Faith.
Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, n.d.
Montaigne, Michel de. 1980. Of Cannibals. In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces.
Vol. 1, Literature of Western Culture through the Renaissance. 4th ed. Edited by Maynard Mack. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Newell, Linda King and Valeen Tippetts Avery. 1984. Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith.
Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company.
Plato. 1961. The Collected Dialogues of Plato, Including the Letters.
Edited by Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. Bollingen Series LXXI. New York: Bollingen Foundation, Pantheon Books.
Plutarch. The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans.
Translated by John Dryden. Revised by Arthur Hugh Clough. New York: Modern Library, n.d.
Rappoport, Angelo S. 1987. Ancient Israel: Myths and Legends.
3 vols. in 1. New York: Bonanza Books.
Rudolph, Kurt. 1987. Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism.
Translated by Robert McLachlan Wilson, P. W. Coxon, and K. H. Kuhn. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Saunders, Jason L., ed. 1966. Greek and Roman Philosophy After Aristotle. Readings in the History of Philosophy. New York: Free Press.
Smith, Joseph. Joseph Smith's Egyptian Alphabet & Grammar.
Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, n.d.
-------. 1976. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company.
-------. 1980. The Words of Joseph Smith.
Compiled and edited by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook. Religious Studies Monograph Series, vol. 6. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University.
-------. 1984. The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith.
Compiled and edited by Dean C. Jessee. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company.
Smith, Joseph F. 1939. Gospel Doctrine. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company



 Etusivu | Sivun alkuun


 2000-10-13 — 2002-11-23