I Don’t Like the Temple. I’d Appreciate It if the Church Would Stop Gaslighting Me About It.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

The morning after I received my endowment in the temple, I woke up sweaty from the double layers of my new garments and nightgown. Memories from the night before floated to the surface of my murky consciousness: the hours I’d spent in the beautiful white building and all of the panic I’d felt leading up to the experience dulled by numbness once the day finally arrived. But that survival mechanism had switched off overnight, and something inside me fractured, and I felt my previous panic turn into despair, and I curled up in the large chair in my parents’ bedroom and cried.

I was inconsolable for hours. My memory consists more of emotional impressions than a hard timeline, but I remember my mom seeing my anguish, talking to me for a few minutes and giving me the equivalent of a brief “there, there” before she had to leave. I remember she was kind, but she did not validate what I was feeling. My pain was a physical thing, a hard shape varnished with shame.

I’d been as prepared for my endowment as I could possibly be: I’d read Boyd Packer’s The Holy Temple (spoiler alert: it contains no spoilers or anything remotely informative for novitiates), taken two temple prep classes, studied through the Pearl of Great Price twice on the advice of my dad, fasted and prayed, and consulted with leaders and my parents about my extreme anxiety around going through the temple (what if everything I’ve ever believed in is a lie? What if, after the temple, I can never look at my parents or loved ones in the same way again?). If I could have gone on my mission without going through the temple, I would have, but that wasn’t an option, so I threw myself into doing everything I could to ensure it would be a positive experience.

I made it through the ordinances and the ice cream with extended family afterward without any major hiccups. The experience wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible, either. The morning after, though, I was filled with spiritual malaise. The misogynistic aspects of the ceremony had disturbed me, but since I wasn’t getting married, I felt like those parts didn’t apply to me, and it was easy to wave them away.

I went into the temple confident that Heavenly Father knew me and loved me. My relationship with God felt personal and intimate and comfortable. But the God represented in the endowment was not the Father I knew. This God was aloof, removed from me by a two step, two way relay system of male messengers. This God required secret passwords given to third parties before I was allowed to be in his presence. The God of the endowment was not a loving father; he was a bureaucratic CEO. It was a profoundly devastating bait and switch. 

I forced myself to go back to the temple again and again, trying to find enlightenment and peace. Some sessions, I literally shook with anger. Some, I cried in frustration or despair. Some, I sat through numb and bored. Occasionally, I felt a glimmer of what I’d been taught the temple was supposed to be like, but it was rare and small. It took a decade for me to realize that the temple just wasn’t my spiritual language. God came to me in music, in writing, in nature. Not liking the temple didn’t mean there was something wrong with me.

In Church talks, manuals and culture, the temple is only ever presented in a positive light. Experiences like mine are never represented, not even when they have a “faith promoting” ending (i.e. “Sister X used to struggle with the temple, but she has since gained a testimony of it and now loves attending!”). I felt embarrassed, like I was an anomaly, like the fault was mine, like if I just tried harder I would find peace and inspiration in the temple like everyone else. Every strong exhortation and tender anecdote in General Conference about the peace and blessings found in the temple added another layer to my shame.

Nothing has made me question my worth or my sanity more than institutional gaslighting from the Church, whether about sex, the temple, gender roles, valid reasons to stop attending church, or patriarchy. When key parts of my lived experience were not only not validated but never acknowledged at all, I felt aberrant and alone. 

I started tentatively speaking up about my experience with the temple in small ways, slipping admissions into conversations with friends, comments in church lessons, or my own sacrament meeting talks. “It’s not really my thing,” I’d say; or, “I really used to struggle with the temple.” And every single time I did, someone would seek me out afterward. “I thought I was the only one,” they’d say, intense relief apparent in their voice. “That was my experience, too.”

Pretending that things don’t exist outside of the prescribed narrative makes those whose lived experience contradicts that narrative feel broken and ashamed, but the gospel of Jesus Christ draws a circle wide enough to hold the whole of us, contradictory and conforming parts alike.

ElleK is a foodie, gardener, and writer. Women’s issues in the church are not a pebble in her shoe; they are a boulder on her chest.


  1. Thank you so, so much for this! I feel like I could have written this (except that I didn’t serve a mission, I received my endowment in preparation for getting married). For years, I thought I must be crazy, that I must be the ONLY Mormon in the History of Ever who did not even *like* the temple, let alone love it. It’s such a lonely feeling.

    • I’m so sorry, Maren. Even more than just lonely, I felt broken. There wasn’t space for me in the church’s narrative about the temple. So painful and othering.

  2. Me, too. I went through as an adult convert in the 70s and I completely agree with your “bait and switch” analogy. A concerned co-worker had warned me about the polygamy that the church I was studying supposedly was involved in. I asked the missionaries, and they assured me that No, the church doesn’t have that anymore. In the 70s, women weren’t allowed to go to the temple unless going on a mission or getting married, but I didn’t know that until after I’d joined. Bait and switch. So three years later, I went through to get married. There were no temple prep classes, no one told me to bring an escort, they’d overbooked the temple and there was no room in the brides’ dressing room for me, my escort was a stranger that they assigned to me. Washing, anointing, endowment, and sealing all happened on the same exhausting day. I was confused as I had no idea about the washing and anointing and back then it was less modest. I nearly got up and left. But I was intimidated enough to hang in there. The endowment took longer back then, and it gave me a headache. I was horrified at the language of polygamy being in the endowment. Bait and switch, indeed.
    Forty-three years later, we’re still happily married, but I don’t credit the temple. I don’t go anymore.

    • Beth, your experience breaks my heart. Your wedding day should be a happy one, a day where you feel celebrated and cared for, and yours sounds chaotic and exhausting. Had your husband already been endowed? Forbidding people from saying anything about the temple ceremonies and logistics creates so much needless anxiety and stress. I’m glad your marriage has been a good one and that you’re at peace with your decision to not attend the temple.

      • Craig was also an adult convert and had gone through only once before, so he wasn’t solid on the logistics either, especially for women. lol Honestly, it was local leaders who could’ve proactively made sure that we were prepared for at least the logistics, but they were under the direction of HQ, so there is just a breakdown from the top down regarding this. Craig has been the best spouse, but would’ve been if we’d gotten married at a gas station in Vegas! lol Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it.

  3. Every time I mention not loving the temple people come up to me afterward and say “me too.” In close company my words are much stronger than “not loving.”

    Rather than getting better over time, my reasons for disliking it keep piling up. I’m done being gaslit, too.

    • I try to keep my comments more neutral in church contexts so that people hopefully feel less threatened, but I’ve definitely expressed some strong opinions about the temple, too.

      They say you notice different things every time you go through an endowment ceremony, and that was true for me, but the things I was noticing and learning were that pre- and post-earth life were the domain of men. There was no room for women in the theology. Eventually I decided that I really wasn’t interested in the Heaven presented in the temple, where women were hidden away and uninvolved, and that was the beginning of the end for me.

  4. Thank you for sharing! Until the recent changes, I felt like that if I were to get married in the temple, I would lose the direct line of communication I have with Heavenly Father. I would have needed to go through my non-existent husband. I’m glad that’s changed now.

    • I’m so glad it’s changed, too! It’s much better now, although the qualifier “in the new and everlasting covenant” is still applied to women and not to men, so there’s still an implicit God–>man–>woman/husband presides over wife hierarchy. The misogyny in the first covenant used to feel like a real punch in the face, though, and it’s wonderful that the most awful part of that is gone now.

      It really does make a difference to go through as a single woman, doesn’t it? I found the “hearken to your husband” vow shocking, but saying yes without having a husband felt like a loophole to me.

      • In Joseph’s time, the new and everlasting covenant meant polygamy. Current leaders always seem to look to Joseph for answers to how things ought to be. Two members of the First Presidency have two wives. So I think that the new language is gaslighting members about the wording being updated to add clarity. Connect the dots and it goes right back to polygamy.

  5. Amen. I think the inability for is to talk freely about our temple experiences has been a detrimental to our development as human beings within the church. I also tried for a decade to make it work before walking out of the temple one day and deciding never to go back. I have not ever regretted that decision, and it took hearing someone else’s experience in the temple for me to finally acknowledge our loud that *I* didn’t really like it there, either.

    • That reminds me of a couple years ago when they made those substantive changes to the endowment and forbade people from talking about it. It was a cruel and effective way to strip women of their voices and pain, as the changes most affected women. Even though they were good changes, demanding silence was abusive.

  6. Amen. I felt a lot of shame for years because I had such a negative reaction to the temple. There was literally not a single person I knew who also felt pain there. I felt like I was an alien among my own people, and like I was the crazy one. I now feel so sorry for my younger self who was so hurt and alone and confused by the fact that everyone else loved the temple. How I wish I could have understood that I really wasn’t the crazy one. There truly were serious, serious, issues there, issues that called into question women’s full personhood and their eternal destiny and status.

    • There really are serious issues there. I purposely didn’t focus much on the glaring women’s issues in the temple because there are other valid reasons to not like it, including that it’s boring for some. It’s okay to be bored in the temple. There’s nothing wrong with you if it makes you feel anxious or uneasy or angry or sad. You can still have a relationship with God even if you don’t feel the spirit in the temple.

      I wish I could go back and hold my sobbing 21 year old self and tell her she’s not crazy and that God is so much bigger than the bureaucrat he appears to be in the temple.

  7. My wife won’t go to the temple for many of the reasons here. The kicker for her, though, is that as a widow sealed to her first husband, she can’t be sealed to me without a spiritual “divorce” of canceling their sealing, while, I, also widowed, can be sealed to her with no alterations to my first temple marriage.

    • That double standard has caused so much unnecessary heartache. I know widows who are asked straight out at singles’ gatherings if they’re already sealed, and if they are, the men lose interest. It’s grotesque. I’m glad you and your wife found each other after losing your spouses.

  8. I feel you. It is so complicated. I had a friend ask me– as if I knew– if she could “take back her endowment.” As soon as she said that, I wanted that, too. I wanted to not be endowed and obligated to everything that come with the temple.

    We ended up asking someone at the temple who told us, “No, you can’t un-do your endowment.” *sigh* But wouldn’t that be nice? If we could somehow be “forgiven” for being endowed and have that erased from our lives so we could… be happy and normal? I wish that we could be “released” from the temple when we need to be; I wonder if that were allowed to do so, if the church might retain some of its waning membership.

    So hard. Thank you for your words.

    • I’d happily do that, too! I even asked a leader if I could resign my membership, then go through the temple and do the new-worded endowment? They told me, No, when you get rebaptized your covenants are “restored.” Then, someone told me the new language and I realized the gaslighting that was going on.

  9. Women aren’t the only ones. I tried for years to go, to find meaning. But, my initial impression that the endowment was a secrecy ritual to protect polygamy never left me. It always left me depressed and not enlightened. So, a few year ago. . I chose not to renew my temple recommend. Some wonder why I don’t have one. Frankly, I don’t care to explain anymore.

  10. Despite the changes, I hear people say that nothing has actually changed, which makes me very suspicious of the weasel words that replaced the blatant ones. “New and Everlasting Covenant”? Why can’t we just be Queens and Priestesses to God? Leadership must have an important reason but nobody is saying what it is.

    After so much prayer and angst spent on the last version, only to have them wiped away with no explanations given, I’m actually not spending a lot of time trying to figure this out or worrying about it. My spiritual watering holes are elsewhere, and I am drinking up.

    • I agree it’s mostly weasel words where they’ve just hidden the sexism a little better. New and everlasting covenant instead of “to their husbands” which is the same thing. And they took out the “hearken” covenant from the endowment but added some “preside” language to the sealing.

      RMN and DHO are sexist. Full stop. The temple “changes” made that pretty clear that we weren’t just dealing with inherited problems.

    • I also agree with not feeling like it is worth becoming invested in a version. My stake president talked with me for a long time about this and assured me I’d like the new version and everything is better. But I made the old covenants, I said. He said something about those changing with temple words still applying anew. So what was the point of the old thing? And what is the point of this version which will also change at some point too? why get invested at all?

      • And what if your covenant is automatically updated to include “give permission to your husband to marry additional wives as he and the Lord see fit”? lol Leaders can make whatever changes they want and if we’ve agreed to one thing, we are automatically updated to Covenant 2.0? Yikes. It’s a sexist, cultish mess.

  11. Amen to all of this. I felt so isolated and devastated that all the sexist “just cultural” issues of the church were codified into doctrine at the temple. It was like a slap to the face. I felt like something was wrong with me for seeing the sexism for what it was. All these other faithful kind wonderful women at church were all just fine with being second class citizens. At least that’s how it appeared. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

    Then in 2019, the wording changed. At first I was so happy. Then I was furious. I had wasted 7 years of my life anguishing over these things said in the temple and about what it meant for my identity as a human being. Not only that, the issue if sexism in the church ruined the spiritual relationship I had with my husband. I spent hours in serious contemplation and prayer, trying to understand. Then poof, some of the sexism was removed but not all of it. The fact that church leaders wouldn’t eradicate all of the sexism is really sickening. The 2019 changes and the 2020 conference where Pres. Nelson told all the women to study the priesthood, only to hear sexist talks with no changes were the last straws for me.

    I just wish I could have understood so much sooner that the church only has part of its foundation built on Christ, but far too much is built on the sandy foundation of prejudice. A house divided against itself cannot stand, yet the church refuses to truly unite and insists on fighting against women’s full humanity and divinity.

  12. Gaslighting is not a word I ever thought of in this context, but it feels true. We hear so often the advice that if you don’t like it go again and again. That makes sense if the problem is “I don’t understand.” Sure. I don’t understand Isaiah. Read it again and again, listen for promptings, study context. Repetition will bring at least some light. But if the problem is “this hurts” then why is the solution “do it a lot more!” It isn’t a good hurt like working out. It is a wound hurt. Keep rubbing salt in it! Add some lemon juice! Reopen it frequently!

    I honestly do not at all understand why people care if I am going to the temple frequently. I understand caring about people who want to go more often but cannot — let’s help lower those barriers to a meaningful spiritual experience. But why convince people who have had many bad experiences? And why is the implicit answer “you just don’t understand?”

    • Because if you go frequently you need a recommend. To have a recommend you have to be paying at least 10%. They want your continued financial contributions. Follow the money.

  13. It’s the world–the culture and the academy–that is the gaslighter par excellence.

    “Pretending that things don’t exist outside of the prescribed narrative…”

    Are we willing to question the narrative that we’ve been forcefully taught by the world over the last couple of centuries?

  14. Reading things like this, and everyone’s comments, just makes me glad that I went inactive as a teen, and never had to experience the temple. I had anxiety about it for years, as long as I can remember really. I was so incredibly frustrated by the complete and total lack of information about what happens there. And the shame surrounding asking about it, so I didn’t.
    Thank goodness I’m nonbinary and no longer allowed in the temple, even though I did enjoy doing baptisms and such, and I do miss the idea of being sealed, but in my mind, I don’t need a specific ceremony for that, I can choose to be with my spouse in the next life if I want, (I do) and God won’t keep families apart simply because we weren’t in a specific club, ya know?

  15. Thanks for speaking out and sharing your experiences. I’ve also struggled with the patriarchal structure in the temple and often leave really frustrated. I really appreciate your lines:

    “God came to me in music, in writing, in nature. Not liking the temple didn’t mean there was something wrong with me.”

    Keep speaking out and sharing your experiences—they are valid and real. Thank you again for creating a safe place for others like me to not feel alone in these experiences.

    Best wishes,

  16. I relate to this so much. I’ve had complicated feelings about the temple my whole life. I’m a life long member, but I hated the endowment ceremony so much when I went through. So much.

    I spent a lot of time trying to like the endowment after that. Eventually I figured out that if I zoned out and didn’t try to understand anything I could make it through a session without feeling hurt. (In writing that sentence I just realized how this sounds like how some victims cope with abuse. So maybe I need to think about what that means for my relationship with the temple.)

    Currently I’m at a place where I say, “The temple is A holy place. It’s not the ONLY holy place.” I keep my recommend current because I’m still “worthy” and I’ll go occasionally with my husband and for weddings and ward temple days. But I usually spend the whole ceremony imagining how it would feel to see Heavenly Mother represented alongside Heavenly Father in order to accurately portray Elohim. I prefer to do initiatories because at least there I can see and hear women with major roles.

    It’s never the spiritual high that every General Conference talk makes it out to be. I never feel completely at peace in the temple. I have other places where I can go to feel peace.

    • Initiatories are not very many women’s favorite place, and yet, like you, it’s the sweet spot. The thing is – the temple endowment feels like it’s all about preserving the Patriarchy, and protecting men and their rights to polygamy. It’s not about God at all.

      I haven’t been to the temple since I was sealed to my husband in 2017. It’s not the first marriage for either of us, and I had to cancel my sealing to my son’s father, in order to do so (and I get conflicting answers as to whether or not my now deceased only child and I are sealed to one another! Pish and tosh! He’s my boy and I’m his mom. Period). ANYWAY, my husband did not have to cancel his sealing to his first wife. I asked him to do so anyway. He said he didn’t have to, and if God allowed him the choice, there must be a reason why … I know, I know. I’m the crazy one for going along with this. That was the beginning of the end for me. I’m not certain I’ll be renewing my recommend. It hardly feels necessary, and the only part of the temple that feels like I matter to God at all is in participating in Initiatories.

      • Your child recieved your mitochondrial DNA in every cell of his body. Biological mothers pass it along to all of their offspring. It comes from mothers, not fathers. The females will pass it along to all of their offspring. That is the real sealing of families. I believe that in the next life there will be no exclusion of anyone you have loved.

  17. I was at the wedding reception of a ward member when another sister came up to me. We were chatting. She said she hadn’t gone to the sealing because she just didn’t really enjoy the temple, but she was sure she would enjoy it if she went more often. I replied, “Don’t bet on it. I don’t enjoy it either. For me, it’s the sexism.” More of us, as women especially, need to stop gaslighting other women about their experiences. I’m not carrying water for any organization that sees me as eternally second class.

  18. I think people maybe say they love the temple because it’s constantly drummed into us that we should. Just look at many Primary songs – it’s constant. The temple endowment is boring and sexist. I first went when the covenant was to ‘obey’ my husband before it was changed to ‘harken’, and now changed yet again – all with the same basic intent. Fortunately I have a solid partnership with my husband and there’s no talk of ‘obey’. We operate as an equal team.
    I agree with Steve that the temple ceremony was most likely developed as a secrecy ritual to protect polygamy. So many parallels to masonry.
    I also don’t like how the temple ‘others’ those who aren’t able to attend for one reason or another. I don’t believe in a God that creates 2 tiers of church membership.
    I’ve just recently let my recommend lapse and have no plans to renew. I expect my husband will renew his but he’s never been a big fan of the temple either.

    • Hi there. Latter-day Saint and Freemason here.

      The parallels between the Church’s temple endowment ceremony and the degree ceremonies of Freemasonry are actually quite few and superficial, being limited to how things are taught instead of what things are taught.

  19. The glowing narrative about the temple is concocted almost entirely by men. Men have a thoroughly different experience in the temple than do women (even in the revised ceremony). Men are in charge, have authority, cast out the devil, create a world, create flora and fauna, mingle with God and apostles, and in the ritual I experienced, possess a woman who vows to follow him completely. Who wouldn’t enjoy those things? Men have a much more positive, empowering, uplifting experience in the temple. I often notice at church and especially in conference that it is men who speak most glowingly of the temple. As for the women who speak positively of the temple: First, anyone can have spiritual experiences in any space as long as they are seeking God, so yes, women can have divine experiences in the temple. Second, in LDS culture women are only allowed to speak (repeat) what male leaders have said. If women deviate from the narrative, they will face social or ecclesiastical censure.

    • Thank you for this!!! This post from a few years ago popped up on the bottom of a current post and, because of my dislike and strong physical reaction to the temple, I read it. This comment was an’ah-ha’ moment for me as I realized how it is possible for some people, most likely men, to enjoy the temple.

  20. This post resonates on so many levels. I too was a hopeful and faith-filled young initiate who completed temple prep classes and innocently believed all the warnings about the temple being much too sacred for anybody to tell me what to expect. Then I arrived there and was told to strip down naked, as in 100% nude with nothing underneath the thin white modesty cloth they told me to hold over my privates while doing a walk of shame through the locker room. I felt nausea and disgust, but I was so shocked and scared and terrified of disappointing all the relatives who had travelled for my Big Day that I complied, even though I did *not* want what happened next: a stranger touched me on my body in places thst were forbidden to my own fiance! If I had fully undressed and then met with my fiance or even a member of my same sex in this same modesty shield and they touched me in the same places where temple workers touched me, my bishop and stake president would have revoked my temple recommend! I did not consent to it but I was too scared to say no. It was sexual assault. I have been traumatized for decades since. I thank you for shining a light on how we were groomed to accept this secret abuse as normal, even worshipful.

  21. On a similar note, I hated being a temple worker. Not because it was a long drive in the snow, or because I had to give up my Fridays, though as a 20-something it was a pain. I was married, but finally going through fertility treatments (after years of infertility), and the volunteering was a terrible and painful experience in a place that’s supposed to be “peaceful”.

    • Like these other women I found little meaning and spirituality attending the temple for years! I always felt uncomfortable with all the rituals that had little to do wirh Jesus Christ! Now many years later I have no desire to attend the temple. I havent had a temple recommed for many years although I still attend church most Sundays. They may have changed a great deal of the endownent but that doesnt erase all those years of feeling confused and left to wonder why such horrific parts i had to endure for years were finally taken out! Unfortunately, the sessions are still too long and its a little to late for all these so called CHANGES! I feel sad that i wasted so much precious time and energy attending all of the brainwashing, and sensless rituals!

  22. I kept going for 25 years trying to “see the light” and “to finally get it”, but finally admitted it just made me agitated. I haven’t found doctrine too sacred to discuss outside of the temple. The secret stuff is the Masonic rituals, which is the method but not the message. So, yeah, when I am repeatedly PROMISED in GC that I will find the greatest peace and understanding there, I feel like throwing the remote at the TV.

  23. Wow, this resonated with me — although you said it all more eloquently than I ever have! Thank you!

    I sobbed for a couple of days after my endowment for the two reasons you listed: (1) women treated as second-class citizens and (2) the corporate hierarchy of access to God. I felt like I was broken for not loving the temple. On the couple of occasions that I timidly ventured to say, “I didn’t have a great experience,” I was told that I just didn’t understand and I needed to go frequently. I tried. OH, I TRIED. And yet I always entered the temple feeling fine and emerged feeling very upset. I finally mostly gave up on going, and I’m tired of pretending that it does anything positive for me.

    I have felt very conflicted since the endowment language changed in early 2019. It seems like I should celebrate those changes, but I mostly feel angry that everyone told me for years that I was the problem when it now seems that the endowment itself was the problem (given the changes). I can’t undo 20 years of being told that my feelings were wrong and I just needed to “try harder”. Gaslighting, for sure. Back to therapy…!

  24. Unfortunately, I have been in an abusive marriage. The first time my ex verbally abused me, calling me vile names and criticizing me for perceived flaws, I KNEW it was abuse, it was untrue, and I called him out on it. Over the years with repeated exposure to the verbal assaults, I first grew numb to them, then began to believe them, and finally internalized those damaging words and perceptions about me.

    The first time I went to the temple, every “fiber of my being” rejected the words establishing my second class status and distant relationship with God. I KNEW it wasn’t true. I returned a few times, but when I found myself growing numb to the words, I stopped attending. There was no way I wanted to reach the point of internalizing such a damaging message about who I am as a daughter of God.

    Admonishing those who have been profoundly hurt by the temple to intentionally and regularly repeat that exposure…well, the parallel is obvious to me.

  25. I loved this post and it felt so similar to my experience.
    I actually composed the music to the most recent temple film, and I really haven’t been able to talk about my experience because I had to keep things pretty quiet. I don’t know if this is valuable to anyone, but I brought up a lot of these problems I had with the temple language and sexism to both the directors of the film (2 feminist women surprisingly) and the president of the temple department, all of whom regularly met with the prophet and apostles. The comforting part of my experience was that almost everyone I worked with, I would classify as decently feminist, and they let me be fully transparent and bring up every issue I had, never being dismissive because they really understood, or if they hadn’t thought of the issue, saying they would take it into their meetings.

    The 2 things I want to share, are when I asked about the wording of “queen and priestess in the new and everlasting covenant” and said that it didn’t resolve anxieties about polygamy or inequality, I was told they chose this wording because if it was “Queen and Preistess unto God,” they were worried people would think women would be married TO God.
    And they alluded that eventually the policy would change of men being able to be sealed to more than one women, or that women would be able to as well, but I didn’t get a timeline. I thought it would be soon but it hasn’t happened in the year or 2 since I did it.

    Anyways, this may or may not be comforting, at the time it was to me, but now that I’m just a regular person not getting to talk to a direct line to apostles, it’s just an interesting tidbit.

    I thought of this group all the time when I was working on the film, and felt like I had an obligation to represent all these feeling I’ve felt commonality with over the years.

    • That’s very interesting and thank you for sharing. I’m very glad you were able to express those thoughts and that you felt heard.

      As for the new and everlasting covenant language – I don’t buy that. (I’m not saying the people who told you that weren’t being sincere, just that I don’t think that’s the actual reason from the top.) The way it’s currently worded is what makes husbands into gods and I think the alternative wording would more clearly indicate a direct relationship between a woman and God, especially since many (most?) women receive their endowment before they are even married! So why would they think “God” referred to “husband”???. That’s kind of absurd the more I think about it. Saying “queen and priestess to God” means exactly what it says. A queen and a priestess to God. Just like a man is a king and a priest to God. It’s the same God both refer to. It’s not confusing.

      Not to mention men still bring their fiancées / wives through the veil so good grief they certainly aren’t concerned about giving people that impression elsewhere. Nor are they concerned about adding “preside” into the sealing ceremony after removing “hearken” from the endowment. Six eggs here, a half a dozen there.

      There’s no excuse for the policy not changing. Just today I was talking to a widow who mentioned she will only try to date widowers. How awful. How counter to the scriptures. We should be caring for her not marginalizing her and making it harder for her to date. Disgusting.

    • What an interesting experience for you to have had. I wonder if the comments they made about changing the rules of who is sealed to whom “in the future” was just more gaslighting? “Tell her what she wants to hear.” And I don’t buy their reason for the wording of the new and everlasting covenant either.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this. I agree with the other commenters in questioning if the intention is to truly make women queens and priestesses to God, why have their husbands preside over them? Why not make it clear that female priesthood authority and whatever keys, power, etc. that come with being a queen and priestess come from God, not because the woman is married to a priesthood holder. None of a man’s keys, power, or authority is because he is married to a woman. I understand that exaltation is supposed to be a joint affair, but in the initiatory, men simply rule and reign. Women only rule and reign with their husbands. Unless this changed too? But if the leaders intended complete equality, they would make the wording the same and exactly reciprocal for all covenants regardless of gender. They also would have portrayed Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father working as equal partners in all aspects of creation and premortal life. I don’t suppose they changed the part where only Adam gets to help Jesus create the world, did they?

  26. “I don’t suppose they changed the part where only Adam gets to help Jesus create the world, did they?”

    The name Adam can mean either man or mankind. Sometimes he stands as an archetypal representation of humanity as a whole. So, when Adam (Michael) helps to form the earth (IMO) he represents all of us working under the direction of the Savior.

  27. I feel as though I am entering and walking on sacred ground here. Not because the discussion is about the temple, but because my sisters legitimately hurt from what is supposed to be a sacred place. Until I came to this forum, I didn’t realize how explicit the misogyny and the temple is. As I think of it now, it absolutely is misogynistic. I took my endowment in 1982 and like many other youth raised in the Salt Lake Valley, took it for granted that this was expected of me, because I was expected to go on a mission. All my friends had gone, so it was just part of the deal. I regret going on a mission. I regret making covenants that in hindsight I would easily break and then feel overwhelming guilt and shame for. The temple is supposed to make you feel good, or at least that’s what I was brought up to believe. Reading these comments and experiences breaks my heart. I have been part of the patriarchy of the church, serving in a bishopric twice. I can’t tell you how sorry I am for contributing to your hurt and the hurt of so many others who are afraid to speak up. I cannot imagine the fear, the anxiety, the feeling of being violated. I understand it more now, but I can’t imagine it. Your experiences are absolutely valid. I see you. I hope we can all find healing in some way or another. Mine just won’t be in the temple. I’ve been questioning and slowly distancing myself from the church for the past couple of years. I have a publicly stated that to my family or my church family. But the time is coming when I’m sure I will just completely walk away. In the meantime, I hope to stand in solidarity with you sisters. You are greatly loved. You are greatly respected. You’re greatly admired just because you are you.

    James H

    • Thanks, James. I wish every man would put themselves in women’s shoes. I think so many of them have just never considered what it would be like, have never considered that women are people just like them.

  28. Thank you for helping me not feel alone. This is the struggle I’m experiencing right now. I wish I had the positive reactions that you’ve had when mentioning it but more often I met with consoling gestures and assurances that I just have to keep attending and eventually over time I will love it as much as they do. It’s simply not the case for me. I miss the feeling of peace and warmth that I somehow had as a teen going through the baptistry. Experiencing the endowment the first several times left me feeling bored, exhausted, even frustrated that everything is so basic, so primary that it felt like I wasn’t getting any credit for having been a lifelong member. I was always told we would receive new and enlightened instruction and I feel like everything is just redundant. The session is so long and I find myself looking around at others in the room and wondering how it is that what we are experiencing such opposite emotions.
    One of the biggest hurdles is that I cannot wrap my mind or spirit around the idea that the god I know, would need such plebian rituals in order to recognize me and welcome me back home.
    Currently I go because other family members are going and how do you tell such devote people who have always loved the temple that you’d be content never to go again. I envy those who find peace and rejuvenation in temple attendance. It’s what I was raised to believe I would find but its simply not the case.

  29. Baptized April 6, 1974, mission 1975 – 1977, ordained a Seventy 1977, ordained high priest 1982. Served three missions, five bishoprics as a single young adult. Temple ordinance worker in 7 Temples 1977 – 2013. I am always sad what the females of the Church have to go through. I am married twice in the Temple. Washington DC april 26, 1984, Palmyra NY Jan 2, 2016. Temple marriages both times. Sequential monogamy. Second wife had to undo her former Temple marriage by first Presidency action before she could marry me in Palmyra. What a shame on the Lord’s way of uniting families. Two standards of supposed love and unity.

  30. I get what you’re saying, here’s my point of view and I hope it helps. The temple is meant to be symbolic, christs teachings were in parable. When it comes to the temple ceremony eve/woman is symbolic of mankind/the church, whereas Adam/man is symbolic of Christ. This is not meant to be a comment on the relationship between man and woman, but on the relationship between mankind and Christ. In the temple covenants we make we are sealing ourselves to him, we are marrying him, he has always been the bridegroom and we have always been the bride. As we marry ourselves with Him, His role as our intermediary with the father is solidified, and through Him we bridge the gap between us and God that came after the fall of man. This perspective puts man and woman on the same fallen level, and Christ above us lifting us up. True doctrine of God does not support inequality between man and woman. I hope this point of view helps and I would encourage you to prayerfully consider returning to the temple and praying to know what God wants to say to you with his unique symbolism and parables.

  31. Just last night I was verbally abused by a leader in the Delta Colorado church. This sort of thing had been going on since December of last year. I became suicidal after the phone conversation. I had been a member of the LDS church for 60 years.

    I prayed and a health worker called me this morning saying that what he did was wrong. The pastor of my new church was very helpful and turned my emotions around. I will be a member of that church from now on.

    By the end of the week I will take steps to get totally out of the LDS church.

  32. Acts 7:48-49
    King James Version
    48 Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet,

    49 Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?

    When you are re born with the Holy Spirit, the Lord dwells within you. Not Temples as God’s word in Scripture says.

    God Bless you

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