Thursday, January 22, 2015


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Below is my article on the Mormon "Law of Adoption and Sealing of Men to Men,” including Joseph Smith’s revelation to set up an earthly Church of the Firstborn, claimed to be an exact replica of the heavenly one mentioned in the Bible, plus much more. You’re going to be surprised—maybe shocked is a better word. Definitely an eye-opener!

Update on my historical suspense novel, Ultimate Justice: I'm half way through trying to bring the word count down. Still a ways to go yet, slowed down by other obligations. 

I was inspired to write this book because of my years-ago encounter with a man who had escaped from a Virginia chain gang and was living in my town of Wendover, Utah under an alias. He became a member of the adult Sunday school class I was teaching back when I was still a member of the Mormon Church. His story, and what happened to him after that, was so poignant that I vowed that some day I would write about it. However, because I didn't know the details of his earlier life before his imprisonment, I had to take a lot of literary license--so much so, that I had to end up not calling it a true story but a novel, a powerful story that probes the depths of one man's determination to fight for justice. Here's what the story is about:

 Unjustly convicted in 1938 for the murder of his wife, reporter Ed Bowman escapes the Virginia State Penitentiary and is in the race of his life to catch the real killer and bring him to justice. With police breathing down his neck, he tracks the killer to the small desert town of Wendover, Utah. But when he finds the one piece of evidence that will bring him to justice, a friend’s unexpected treachery and a betrayal by a Mormon leader lead to his arrest and extradition back to Virginia leaving him with no hope short of a miracle.

Now, to the article . . . 


The article contains the following:

SECTION 1 - Strange teachings of the early Mormon Church
  • Joseph Smith’s creation of an earthly Church of the Firstborn, separate from the general LDS Church, including the bizarre “Law of Adoption”
  • Smith’s new priesthood—Patriarchal. (higher than Melchizedek)
  • The sealing ritual of the new priesthood’s chain of command for eternity, consisting of non-biological “Fathers” and “Sons.”
  • The three phases of Smith’s temple endowment and what each consisted of.
  • The Law of Adoption’s ritual of sealing men to men. Was sex involved?
  • Do today’s Mormon Fundamentalists practice sex between men in their higher rituals?
  • Janis Hutchinson’s personal experience with Fundamentalists’ and their higher rituals.
  • The Second Endowment (aka Second Anointing) practiced in today’s LDS temples.
  • Is the Law of Adoption practiced today?
  • What is the grand objective of Mormonism?

SECTION 2 - The Christian perspective of the Church of the Firstborn and the Law of Adoption
  • The Bible’s definition of the Church of the Firstborn, mentioned in Heb. 10:22.
  • The biblical understanding of the Law of Adoption. How does it differ from Joseph Smith’s version?
  • The Mormon understanding of the Fall and becoming children of God.
  • God’s original purpose for priesthood in the Old Testament.
  • Objective of the Old Testament temple veil, and why the veil and priesthood were done away with at Christ’s death.
  • The opening of the Holy of Holies and access to God.

A few notes first:
1.  This article, when referring to the early Mormon Church, will use ”Mormon Church” or “LDS Church,” even though the name of the original church was “Church of Christ” and went through a series of names before it became the name it bears today. Capitalization of “Fathers” and “Sons” is not referring to God or Jesus, but to depict special classifications assigned to the male priesthood in the Law of Adoption.1

2.  Much of the quoted material of early church documents was gained from the publications of Fred C. Collier, avid researcher and Mormon Fundamentalist. During the 1960s and 70s, he and his wife acquired copies of church documents by smuggling them in and out of the LDS Church Archives. Also included are insights from my own experience of LDS temple ritual, and having rubbed shoulders with Fundamentalists.


“Truly this is a day long to be remembered by the Saints of the last days—a day in which the God of heaven has begun to restore the ancient order of his kingdom unto…His people”
(Joseph Smith)9

The concept of this doctrine, along with its temple-required ceremony, came from a revelation supposedly given to Joseph Smith by God, and claimed to be a “higher understanding and order of the Kingdom of God.”26 Smith was to create an “earthly” Church of the Firstborn patterned after the heavenly one, a separate organization from the general church.

Smith maintained that his revelation revealed the “governmental structure” that existed in the heavenly Church of the Firstborn mentioned in Hebrews 12:23, composed of the “spirits of just men made perfect.” Coupled with his new revelation, he interpreted the scripture to mean Mormon men who reached perfection and Godhood. To accomplish this would require the following through a temple ritual that would include the Law of Adoption:

  • A higher priesthood: Patriarchal, instead of Melchizedek.

    Boyd K. Packer, one of the 12 LDS Apostles, in his "Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government," explains that the Patriarchal priesthood is not a separate priesthood but "a part of the Melchizedek Priesthood which enables endowed and worthy men to preside over their posterity in time and eternity."
    11 (underlining mine) It is not to be confused with the calling of the Patriarch to the LDS Church.
  • Plural marriage

  • Sealing of men to men in the Law of Adoption to form a perfect hierarchal priesthood chain of command both on earth and in heaven.
  • A Second Endowment, aka Second Anointing (versus the First Endowment had by the general church).
  • Operate as an inner-circle organization, separate from the general LDS Church’s organization.2
  • The Second Endowment and Law of Adoption would enable members of Smith’s Church of the Firstborn to:

  • gain perfection
  • gain “full” salvation
  • achieve exaltation (Godhood).
  • Preside as a God and have dominion over their posterity
  • enjoy joint heirship with Jesus Christ
Smith’s new organization would guarantee membership not only in his earthly Church of the Firstborn, but also in the heavenly Church of the Firstborn, mentioned in Heb. 12:23. (The biblical understanding of the Church of the Firstborn is found in Endnote No. 48)

Fred C. Collier, researcher and Fundamentalist, explains that the governmental setup of Smith’s earthly Church of the Firstborn (separate from the general church) was initiated and directed by God, the Father, but the regular LDS Church was initiated and directed by Jesus. (Eventually, the belief was that Adam was God their father.)

The temple ritual: The general church’s temple ritual consisted of the First Endowment, sealings of marriages and the “Law of Consecration”; whereas, Smith’s Church of the Firstborn included the Second Endowment, the Law of Adoption (sealing of men to men) and the “Law of Total Commitment (explained later).

Collier explains how Smith’s earthly Church of the Firstborn was not to be confused with the general church: (Note: Where he refers to the “Church of Christ,” he means the early Mormon Church since that was its original name.)

… others have confused the issue…by assigning the ordinances of the one church to the other, thus they have failed to comprehend the need for the other church and the full opportunities which the Father has offered to man on this earth if he would obey His laws. Those who are more informed however, know this to be incorrect; that these two names not only refer to different organizations, but that their missions are also different. … As Christ's mission is to bring man again into the presence of the Father, so the Church of Christ [original name] is to prepare man for the higher opportunities of Exaltation offered in the Church of the Father [Church of the Firstborn]. In short, the Church of Christ was established to prepare the saints for membership in the Church of the Firstborn, which is the Celestial organization that will stand in eternity.3 (Italics, Colliers; brackets and underlining mine.)

There could absolutely be no salvation in the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom unless one belonged to Smith’s Church of the Firstborn and entered into the Law of Adoption and sealing of men. Brigham Young said the Church of the Firstborn was “the means of salvation to bring us back to God.”4

Joseph Smith reiterated this:

“The question is frequently asked, ‘Can we not be saved without going through with all those ordinances, &c.?’(sic) I would answer, No, not the fullness of salvation.”5 (italics the authors; underlining mine.)

Collier defines the objective of “full” salvation as obtained through Smith’s new church:

The purpose of it is to exalt man through the administration of its laws, doctrines and ordinances, that through the principles of Eternal/Celestial/Marriage, Adoption and the Endowment Covenants, men and women might be prepared to become Gods and Goddesses. The Temple Ordinances - those having to do with the family, are, in fact, the ordinances of the Church of the Firstborn.6 (Italics, Collier’s; underlining mine)

(The Bible says: “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased.” Luke 14:11)

Joseph Smith taught the necessity of entering into the Law of Adoption, and its new kind of non-biological “family,” as a training program to learn how to be a God.

You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.7 (emphasis mine)

Joseph Smith, echoed by later leaders, believed that only the salvation gained through his Church of the Firstborn would bring “fullness of joy” (defined as exaltation of men to Godhood), plural marriage and ability to produce children forever, a plan that originated in eternity. Fred Collier explains:

It is the ultimate desire of all mankind to obtain a fulness of joy in their existence. In the eternities of the past it was discovered that a fulness of joy was the harvest of exaltation, that exaltation can be won only through organization, and that organization required government. It was in fulfillment of [this need] …that the Church of the Firstborn and its governing authority were established in the eternities of the past…to exalt man, that he might obtain a fulness of joy in his existence…8 (emphasis and brackets mine.)

Joseph Smith, excited over his new doctrine, wrote in his journal on Jan. 6, 1842:

Truly this is a day long to be remembered by the Saints of the last days—a day in which the God of heaven has begun to restore the ancient order of his kingdom unto….His people—a day in which all things are concurring to bring about the completion of the fullness of the Gospel…a day in which those things begin to be made manifest, which have been hid from before the foundation of the world, and which Jehovah has promised should be made known in His own due time unto His servants, to prepare the earth for the return of His glory, even a celestial glory, and a kingdom of [Mormon] Priests and Kings to God and the Lamb, forever, on Mount Zion, and with him the hundred and forty and four thousand [D&C 77:11].9 (underlining mine)

Individuals attaining exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom would also bear the title of “Saviors on Mt. Zion” because they had “redeemed the dead” through genealogical work and vicariously did their temple work on earth. (This is a title now given today to the general membership who effect their ancestors’ temple work.) Brigham Young also referred to this genealogical work as “redeeming the dead.”10

This is not, of course, what the Bible says. It says Jesus is the only one who, through the shedding of his blood on the cross became qualified to “redeem” both the living and the dead and obtain eternal redemption for us.

With his own blood [not by a temple ritual or by man]…he entered the Most Holy Place once
for all time and obtained eternal redemption for us.” Heb. 9:12. Brackets mine)

The new government would be ruled by men holding a more distinguished priesthood, the “Patriarchal,” which would consist of a family organization of men being sealed to each other in the Adoption ritual (comparable to a ceremony that seals husband to wife). Each family group would be headed by a Patriarchal “Father” over family groups of “Sons” and their families.

These “Fathers” and their “Sons” would not necessarily be biological (detail later). These “Fathers” and “Sons,” along with their families, would exist in a hierarchal (or pyramidal) method of governmental structure to form an unbroken, priesthood chain of command from man to man that would trace itself back to Joseph Smith, whom leaders referred to as the God of this last dispensation, and then to Jesus Christ.12 & 16 It would be like a family tree or genealogy chart, only not biological. 

The patriarchal governing structure of Smith’s new organization was different from the structure that existed in the general church. The general church was based on the General Authorities, apostles, stake presidents, bishops, bishops and wards. Members of the Church of the Firstborn would no longer be subject to the General Authorities or stake and ward leaders.

Collier explains:

The way the Prophet taught it, and the way he originally intended it, after a man received his endowments, Wards and Stakes would cease to be a part of his life. You would no longer have a Bishop to whom you would go and ask for a Temple Recommend. You wouldn't be going to your Bishop to pay tithing.14 

There’s no room or need for Bishops – there’s no room or need for Stake Presidents – your authority in the Priesthood comes through the family. If you need ordinances done – if you need to have an Eternal Marriage done – if your children need to have a Marriage Sealing, they go to their father or their mother for the ordinances. Fathers and mothers administer the ordinances for their children.”15(Collier’s emphasis)

All men holding the Patriarchal Priesthood in this fatherly organization, could become both a non-biological “Father”—also a non-biological “Son to another man higher up on the ladder. Many men who were “Fathers” to families of “Sons” below them, also chose to become a “Son” to church leaders, hoping to share in their adoptive father’s honor not only in this life but the next. The sealings would be established in the Adoption ritual contained only in the Second Endowment/Anointing. The men also had to be married to one or more wives. (A minimum of 3 was required, which would constitute a Quorum.)

The procedure
A man who wanted to be a “Father” would request another husband (more often non-biological, but not always) to be adopted to him. The adopted husband would then become the Father’s “Son.” “Sons” would often take on the surname of their new “Father.”20 The more families of “sons” a man could accumulate as a “Father” would be to his glory as a God and build up his kingdom to rule over in eternity. It would also give him special status in this life.

The “Sons’” wives were not only subject to their own husbands as their God, but also to the adopted “Father” who was over her husband.22& 32 The men to men sealings always included the package of the husband’s wife and children. 

Wilford Woodruff, 4th Pres. of the church, said that between 1834-1896 “I officiated in Adopting 96 Men to men.”23 Between 1834-1885, he said, “I had 45 Persons Adopted to me."24 Brigham Young was sealed to Joseph Smith as a “Son,” and Young himself had 38 young men sealed to him as “sons.” John D. Lee had 19 young men and their wives adopted to him.25

“Between 1849 and 1854 the ‘waiting list’ of those desiring to join Brigham Young’s family increased by 175 names.”21 & 22

Joseph Smith said that every man who entered into the Law of Adoption would be…

made a partaker of the celestial glory in its fullness, will hold lawful jurisdiction over his own children, and over all the families which spring of them to all generations, forever and ever.

By that law [of adoption] a son is subject to his [new] father forever and ever, worlds without end.19 (bolding, Millenial Star; brackets and underlining, mine)

Brigham Young said:

Those that are adopted into my family and take me for their counselor, if I continue faithfully I will preside over them throughout all eternity. “I will stand at their head, and Joseph will stand at the head of this Church and will be their president, prophet and god to the people in this dispensation. (See full quote in endnote 16)

Jesus, of course, taught that no man should have authority or dominion over another man

“Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them;
 and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you;
but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister.” (Mark 10:45-45)

Brigham Young said on Nov. 30, 1862:

Under the priesthood which is under the [Order of the] Son of God and the power of an endless life, each father being a son, will always, throughout time and eternity, be subject to his father, as his king, dictator, father, Lord, and God. Each son in his own turn becomes a father and is entitled to the same obedience from the line of his descendants.55 (bolding, Collier’s)

Brigham Young clarifies further:

In the economy of heaven, Adoption is as vital as the marriage covenant. In fact, neither the marriage or Adoption Covenant is valid independent of the other. A woman cannot be legitimately sealed to a man who is not himself already sealed into the Family by adoption. On the other hand, in order to be adopted, a man must find two parents who are themselves already married in the New and Everlasting Covenant.

Together both the Marriage and Adoption Covenant becomes the means of creating a new form of human government – a government which the Prophet Joseph Smith described as “a Perfect Law of Theocracy”. The governing power in this theocratic order is vested in the hands of parents, who hold the Fulness of the Patriarchal Priesthood. Through the viable authority of this Priesthood parents stand as God to their own Family Kingdom, holding all the Keys to administer “Endless lives” to their sons and daughters.56 (bolding, Collier’s)

The control that “Fathers” would exert would require complete submission in all things by the “Sons” to the “Fathers.” The Father acted as counselor and guardian with full control over the son’s estate in this life, including his wives and children.18
"The father may be either younger or older than the son, but in any case assumes the character of guardian, with full control of the labor and estate of the adopted son (History of Utah; underlining mine).17 

“An alliance with a powerful person is never safe.” (Phaedrus)
(See also endnote 16 for the 12 apostles’ direct lineage to Abraham used to “ingraft” and seal males to them who had previously forfeited temple rights by marrying Gentiles but wanted blessings restored.)

“No family could exist on an eternal basis without entering into the Doctrine of Adoption.”26 Therefore, if church members wanted to gain salvation, become joint-heirs with Christ, be exalted to the Celestial Kingdom, become Gods and have their family for eternity, they were required to enter into the Patriarchal Order through the sealing and Adoption ritual contained in the Second Endowment ceremony.

The exact date the adoptions officially started is unknown, but it is believed that Smith initiated “certain trusted leaders into the adoptionary order as early as 1842,” so stated Gordon Irving who worked for the church’s Historical Department.27

The adoptive sealing of men to men to take place in a special room
The sealing of men to men in the early church was performed in a different location in the temple than sealings of husbands to wives. In a sermon by Brigham Young, as reported by John Read in a letter to one of his wives, Read explains:

…Brigham referred to some future time 'when men would be sealed to men in the priesthood in a more solemn ordinance than that by which women were sealed to men, and in a room over that in which women were sealed to man in the temple of the Lord.28 (emphasis the author’s)

Whether sex was involved between the sealed men will be discussed further down.

Smith’s Patriarchal priesthood and family organization, including adoption of men to men is no longer practiced today. LDS ritual sealings for the general church today, consist only of the sealing-marriage of live husbands and wives in a temple ceremony known as the “First Endowment. (It is also performed vicariously for the dead; discussed later.) The Second Endowment, however, is given to a select few. Whether it includes the Law of Adoption and sealing of men to men is unknown.

Today’s procedure for live marriages (aka sealings)
Wives and husbands, immediately upon completing the general temple endowment (first endowment), are sealed together (married) for eternity. This takes place in a special sealing room in the temple by kneeling at an altar facing each other. 

Sealing room in Dallas, Texas

Across the top of the altar, the man and woman join hands in a special clasp known as the “Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, Patriarchal Grip or “Sure sign of the nail” (learned earlier in the Endowment). The officiator speaks words over them and then pronounces them man and wife for all eternity, instead of death do you part.

Children born after that temple marriage are considered automatically “born under the covenant” and do not have to have a later ritual to seal them to their parents. However, if the couple was previously married in a civil ceremony prior to their temple marriage and they already had children, those children would need to be ritually sealed to them or they could not belong to the parents in eternity.

The mandate for children to be sealed to already civilly-married couples
The necessity of this was stated by Orson Pratt, who declared that even if couples had been married civilly prior to a later temple marriage and had children, their children were still “bastards.” Therefore, children had to be ritually sealed to their parents. He said:

…all the ordinances of the gospel administered by the world since the apostasy [death of the last New Testament apostle] of the Church was illegal, in like manner was the marriage ceremony illegal and all the world who had been begotten [children] through the illegal marriage were Bastards, not sons & hence they had to enter into the law of adoption & be adopted into the Priesthood in order to become sons & legal heirs of salvation.29 (brackets mine.)

In today’s LDS Church, the sealing ritual is performed vicariously for those who are dead. Members do genealogical research to identify the vital statistics of their biological ancestors, and then submit the names to the temple for baptism, priesthood (for the men), the First Endowment ceremony, and marrying/sealing of deceased husbands and wives, including their deceased children. If a deceased man had other wives who were deceased before he took his last wife, those wives would also be sealed to him because polygamy is part and parcel of heaven. (A wife, however, can only be sealed to one man.)

The main difference between today’s sealing ceremonies and the early church’s is that the present LDS ceremony does not include the Second Endowment (aka Second Anointing)—at least not for the general membership. The Second Endowment is offered to a select few via a separate secret ceremony. Nor does it contain the ordination of the Patriarchal priesthood, or sealing of men to men as in Smith’s Church of the Firstborn.30 (See this endnote for description and pictures of the First and Second Endowments.)

Mormon Fundamentalists tell us there was one particular covenant (among others) in both the First and Second endowments based on the principle of total commitment. The Second endowment’s covenant is similar, but not exactly. The commitment participants make in today’s Endowment, called the Law of Consecration, is as follows:

You and each of you covenant and promise before God, angels, and these witnesses at this altar, that you do accept the Law of Consecration as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, in that you do consecrate yourselves, your time, talents, and everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which he may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the earth and for the establishment of Zion. Each of you bow your head and say yes.31 (underlining mine)

In the Second endowment, however, participants consecrate everything to the “Family,” consisting of all the men and their families they were sealed to. Collier explains:

Total Commitment is in fact the cardinal principle of the Church of the Firstborn, and it is through this concept and doctrine that the Church of the Firstborn is created on an eternal basis, and through which the individuals therein become united as one.33 (emphasis, Collier’s)

In the Adoption Covenant [sealing of men to men] it was required that the son consecrate his whole being to his [new] father and mother– and not only himself, but also his wife, his children, his time and talents and all that he did or ever would possess.32 (bolding and italics, Collier’s; brackets mine.)

Since, in the early church, there were 3 phases to the endowment, this Total Commitment to the “Father” and “Mother” was not given until phase 2.

In Smith’s First Endowment temple ordinances for the Church of the Firstborn, there were 2 phases, or levels, before one could advance and receive the 3rd phase, which was the Second Endowment/aka Second Anointing, wherein one’s calling and election is made  sure (a take off from 2 Pet. 1:10), and membership is guaranteed in the heavenly Church of the Firstborn.34

1st Phase:      This consisted of the general First Endowment today’s members are familiar with, where one is washed with water and anointed with oil—pronouncing men to "eventually become” Priests and Kings to the Most High God.* The women are anointed to eventually become Queens and Priestesses to their husbands. One might ask, “Why doesn't the pronouncement over women promise them to become Queens and Priestesses to the Most High God like the men?” Because a wife’s husband will become her God in the hereafter and she must worship him instead. Participants also receive the sacred “(under)garment of the Holy Priesthood” with its Masonic markings (explained below).
* Most High God may (or may not) be interpreted to mean the highest God in the sealing chain of priesthood command, rather than Jehovah God.

Brigham Young did make this defense about men being made a God:

“This will not detract anything from the glory and might of our Heavenly Father, for he will remain our Father, and we shall still be subject to him and as we progress in Glory and Power, it the more enhances the glory and power of our Heavenly Father. ”58 (In other words, the extent of God's glory and power depends upon the Mormon Gods below him.)

The Masonic influence
The undergarment bears the obvious imprint of Freemasonry, with the “V” on the left breast (referred to in the early church as “The Compasses” and a reverse “L” on the right breast (referred to as “The Square”). Today’s garments carry the same, including the horizontal marks at the navel and over the right knee).57

In the 1st phase, participants are given the First and Second Tokens of the Aaronic Priesthood, with their passwords, names, signs and penalties, and also the First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, Sign of the Nail, with its name, “The Son,” all with secret handclasps, passwords, penalties and signs. However, the second token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, with its "name,"  is not yet given.

The first 1st phase also includes the “Law of Consecrationto the Mormon Church (quoted earlier), same as contained in today’s LDS Endowment. Phase 1 of the temple endowment was an “introduction” to the 2nd phase, after which participants were then placed in a probationary state to give time to learn how to live the Law of Consecration before progressing to the 2nd phase.

2nd Phase:      
If proved worthy over a period of time to the covenants and the “Law of Consecration” in phase 1, the person returns to the temple and receives the 2nd phase. It contains everything in the 1st phase, but this time they are given the Law of Total Commitment to the “Family,” sealing of men to men, and the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Patriarchal grip, Sure Sign of the Nail, with its “name.” (The “name” of the Second token is also included in the present-day church’s temple ceremony).

Collier explains the Law of Adoption: 
Through the principle of Total Commitment as it is implemented in the Endowment of the 4th Token,* you enter into family relationships and create an eternal union. This union is a lot deeper than what you have in a Stake with your Bishop or Stake President - through the covenant of the Endowment of the 4th Token, you begin to build an eternal family relationship.”6 (emphasis, Colliers; brackets mine)
*The second token of the Melchizedek priesthood was often referred to as the 4th token—two for the Aaronic priesthood and two for the Melchizedek.

At the temple veil, which to many represents death, participants receive the "name" of the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood by way of an embrace copied from the Masonic ritual called the “five points of a fellowship.” (Today, the fellowship embrace has been removed and consists only of each participant’s hand touching the others’ shoulder.) 

The following is the “name of the second token (aka 4th) of the Melchizedek priesthood, Patriarchal Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail:

Health in the navel, marrow in the bone, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.

The first part of the sentence is obviously necessary in producing children for eternity. The second part, the predominance of the priesthood over all participants and their posterity in eternity, is apparent and reminiscent of Smith’s Church of the Firstborn’s family government chain of command, where all families will be under the dominion and rule of many Patriarchal priesthood holders.

At completion of Phase 2, participants are placed in another probationary state to give them time to learn how to live the Total Commitment principle before they can progress to the 3rd phase, which will secure and guarantee their position in the heavenly Church of the Firstborn, and be ordained to the “Eternal Godhead.”

3rd Phase: Second Endowment (aka Second anointing) and ordination to the “Eternal Godhead
The following is acquired in the 3rd phase of this Endowment (not necessarily in this order):

  1.  Participants are qualified and confirmed as members of both the earthly and heavenly Church of the Firstborn.
  2. One’s Calling and Election is “made sure.” Their Calling and Election qualifies participants to receive the Second Comforter, which is a personal manifestation of Christ.
When and if they receive a visit from the Savior, he will manifest God the Father to them and participants can see God’s face and live. (This is, of course, contrary to what God told Moses Ex. 33:20). If Christ’s visit happens, the special privilege itself is supposed to doubly confirm their Calling and Election.

Joseph Smith said:

Now what is this other Comforter? It is no more nor less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself…[who will] attend him, or appear unto him from time to time, and even he will manifest the Father unto him, and they will take up their abode with him, and the visions of the heavens will be opened unto him, and the Lord will teach him face to face, and he may have a perfect knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of God…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 150-151.)

    However, the biblical way to confirm one's Calling and Election is explained in 2 Pet. 10:3,5-7.
    "Wherefore,  the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure sure: for if ye do these things (listed in next paragraph),ye shall never fail.” (2 Peter 10:10)
    [by] "adding your DILIGENCE...employ[ing] every effort in exercising your FAITH to develop VIRTUE (excellence, resolution, Christian energy)...KNOWLEDGE (intelligence)... SELF-CONTROL ...STEADFASTNESS (patience, endurance)... GODLINESS  PIETY...BROTHERLY AFFECTION and...CHRISTIAN LOVE." (emphasis mine.) 
    For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited]to life and godliness.”[not Godhood]  (2 Pet. 1:3) Brackets mine.
    3.  The husband’s marriage to his wife, and/or wives, is sealed by the “Holy Spirit of Promise” and “made sure,” guaranteeing their marriage in the hereafter, along with their children, all of whom will remain as a family unit in the Celestial Kingdom forever.

    This is not how one receives the Holy Spirit of Promise. The Bible says it is given, not as a temple ritual, but when one hears the biblical “gospel” and is “saved,” both terms defined in I Corinthians and Ephesians further below, and receives salvation. Believers then receive the Holy Spirit of Promise:

    And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel  of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. (Ephes. 1:13, NIV.)

    Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures. (I Cor. 15:1-4)
    4.  Participants are ordained as Kings, Priests, Queens, Priestesses. (The earlier Endowment only anointed them to eventually become such.)

    5.  Husband and wife, and/or wives, are ordained to the Eternal Godhead of the future worlds they will be in charge of. Below are examples of those in the early church who received this.
          Joseph Smith, in his diary (also in Wilford Woodruff’s private journal) states that he and his wife, Emma, four months after having their First Endowment marriage, were “anointed & ord[ained] to the highest and holiest order of the priesthood…”and ordained to the eternal Godhead.35 (underlining mine) 
          In 1844, Heber C. Kimball and his wife received this anointing (recorded in the Book of Anointings, in the Church Archives which lists all recipients of the Second Anointing in the Nauvoo Temple). Kimball and his wife were promised the “blessing of the Holy reserection (sic), Even to the Eternal Godhead.” The church’s “Book of Anointings” also records that Brigham Young was blessed that he would “attain unto [the] Eternal Godhead,” as was his wife, Mary Ann.36 (underlining mine) (See article on the Second Anointing at For an occurrence of this Second Endowment anointing in today’s church, see former Stake President Tom Phillips’ account at
    This Second Endowment also includes the husband and wife going into a special room, aka the Bridal Chamber. There, the wife washes the husband’s feet, and anoints her husband’s head, stomach and feet. She dries his body with her required (at that time) long hair. She also pronounces a blessing upon him.

    While this portion of the second anointing is referred to in historical records as the washing and anointing of feet, the records indicate that portions of the body other than the feet were washed and anointed as well. One record speaks of anointing the feet, head, and stomach; another speaks of being washed and anointed "from head to foot.”51

    Its significance is related to the resurrection of the dead. She anoints her husband in her capacity as priestess to her husband, who is her Lord and will, in fact, be her God. The early church taught that that Mary of Bethany was one of Jesus’ wives, and the bodily anointing was preparation for his burial and resurrection. The church felt it important to include in their ritual because Jesus said it should be a memorial forever. The husband/God will also be the one to call the wife forth at the resurrection by her new name received in the temple. (See my article, “The Mormon Temple Ceremony” at

    In the early church it is believed that sexual intercourse by married couple was performed in the Holy of Holies.
    What if someone sins after receiving the Second Endowment? Orson Pratt answered:
     “[T]he Saint who has been sealed unto eternal life and falls in transgression and does not repent, but dies in his sin, will be afflicted and tormented [meaning, in hell] after he leaves this vale of tears until the day of redemption; but having been sealed with the spirit of promise through the ordinances of the house of God, those things which have been sealed upon his head will be realized by him in the morning of the resurrection.53 (brackets, mine)

    It is believed, also contained in other books, that in the early church’s First Endowment, temple marriages were consummated by the newly married husband and wife. It is also believed (although no proof) that the Second Endowment also consisted of the already-married husband and wife consummating their new union in a special room, aka Bridal Chamber, in the temple. 

    Therefore, in the sealing of men to men, it has been suggested that this may also have been the case. In recent times, in the Fundamentalist group, Church of Christ Patriarchal, led by John Bryant, this was practiced. (more later).

    Sandra Tanner noted: 

    Although we have not found any evidence that immoral activities were involved in the sealing of men to men, the practice certainly could have opened a door for those predisposed to homosexual temptations. It seems obvious that the men who were sealed to one another were likely to have closer contact with one another than those who did not enter into the practice. (We do know that in recent times some missionaries who were constantly in close contact with their companions yielded to homosexual activities and were sent home from their missions.)37

    Brigham Young’s grandson, Kimball Young made this statement:

    There are obviously latent homosexual features in this idea and its cultural aspect has many familiar parallels in other religions. … This is true of armies; it is true of priestly orders in all religions; and certainly in many aspects of the occupational guides of the Middle Ages.38

    In more recent times, Gay Mormons hoped to obtain approval from the LDS Church to restore the Law of Adoption and be sealed to each other.

    In the 1970s, some members of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons suggested that the LDS Church should restore the law of adoption so that same-sex couples could be sealed to each other in the temple. The LDS Church didn’t respond. The group, in 1985, established the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ (commonly referred to as the Gay Mormon Church) and the First Presidency of that church restored the Law of Adoption, citing it as the theological justification for their practice of homosexual celestial marriage, and practiced same-sex marriage. (underlining mine).39

    This section is not to suggest that everything I'm going to describe below with some Mormon Fundamentalists is what actually took place in the early church endowment; only that sex is a potent symbol for religious ritual and many succumb to it.

    The first inkling I had of this possibility was when I was held prisoner years ago by a Fundamentalist group (see The leader brought me old books and manuscripts dating to the early church to read that had been carefully handed down within Fundamentalist circles. I read descriptions that heavily suggested sex between men was involved in the temple. Unfortunately, once I finished reading them the leader took them back, so I don’t have the names of the books.

    I later discovered that the inner circle of the Fundamentalist group, Church of Christ Patriarchal, led by John Bryant, practiced sex between men at one of its higher rituals. Lesbianism was also indulged in.

    Here is my story of how I first found out:

    I moved to St. George, Utah and attended Bryant’s general meetings with my mother who had been attending for some time. It was a general understanding in the group that there was advancement for members into higher levels. The first level (when becoming a member) was the Aaronic; the second level, Melchizedek; the third level, Patriarchal. The latter level was supposed to consist of the same rituals as practiced by Joseph Smith. (I assume, at this writing, he was referring to the Second Endowment) Bryant claimed that he received them from the deceased Joseph Smith himself. (He claimed visitations from many deceased LDS Church and Bible notables.) In my ignorance at the time, I assumed his higher rituals were the same as the general endowment of the LDS Church. (I had been married in the temple.)

    Now, some of you may have a problem with what I’m going to tell next if you don’t believe in “God-dreams” (where God reveals something one could not possibly have known beforehand). But that’s okay; you can take it or leave it. I was used to having precognitive dreams, so I considered this dream a revealling warning of the evil that was going on in the group.

    In my dream I was looking through a dark veil. On the other side of the veil I could see Bryant and his inner-circle, few elite men and their wives involved in a ritual. Each man was taking turns having sex with each others’ wives. Then I saw something like an organizational flow-chart that explained, from Bryant's perspective, of how, priesthood-wise, he and the other men were collectively considered “the bridegroom” and all the wives were considered the collective “bride.” If all men were a single “bridegroom,” therefore, all wives were also like a single "bride" and belonged to all the collective bridegrooms. This gave the men the right to have sex with any of the wives. There was more to it, but this will suffice. (Note: At this point, I had never read anything about similar rituals with the Gnostics, Masonry or other false religions until years later, so this was completely new to me.)

    Upon awakening, I immediately wrote down a copy of the flow-chart and the explanation and made an appointment with Bryant, prepared to show it to him and see if it was true. (I had easy access to him because a close relative of mine was one of his plural wives. She was 40+ years older than Bryant and the understanding was that their marriage was for eternity only and they would not live together nor have sex. Just marriage in name only. However, after the ceremony, Bryant explained to her that when marriage for eternity takes place, first-time sex would be required in order to “seal” the marriage.)

    At my meeting with Bryant, I didn’t tell him at first that I’d received the information in a dream. I showed him my chart, illustrating his Patriarchal priesthood ritual of who constituted the Bridegroom and Bride and asked, “Is this going on?” Shocked, he stared at the chart, then at me with his mouth hanging open, then asked, “How could you know this? How did you find out?” I answered, “God showed me in a dream.” His reaction? He became absolutely delighted! He assumed that because God gave me a dream about it, it was a confirmation of its truthfulness and I should be willing to join his third level and participate. I left, saying, “No thank you.

    Some time later, my mother and I heard that Bryant's temple ordinance book was stolen and a copy given to the LDS Church archives in Salt Lake City. (The book was later nicknamed by others in Fundamentalist circles as the "Black Ordinance Book," named after Robert Black who stole the book.)

    We traveled to the archives and read the manuscript (filed under "The Bryanites"). At first, the librarian, an elderly man, was hesitant to let us read it because we were females (he obviously knew its contents), so we had to concoct a valid-sounding story as to why we needed to read it. The book was so voluminous, we were there 7 hours--only able to read fast in order to get it done in a day. We both took notes.

    Bryant’s book described the exchange of wives in the bridal chamber with the "bridegroom" and "bride" explanation that exactly depicted what I saw in my dream. There was also naked praying, rituals where bodily fluids of both men and women were drunk as a Eucharist commemorating Christ’s passion (Years later, I found out that the first century Gnostics did this in their rituals, (the Gospel of Phillip makes coded references to it.) And years later I saw a PBS documentary describing the Gnostics' practice of this.) Bryant's book also contained homosexual rituals, which I certainly won't describe here.

    Throughout the book, the concept that sex (as in pagan rites) was the ultimate religious expression was promoted. (Every false religion from the time of the Old Testament and on has engaged in sexual activity, supposedly symbolic of spiritual principles.The altar of the temple, where the males worshiped, was not an item of furniture but the woman herself, suggesting that intercourse took place in the temple.

    The passwords described in Bryants book were all four letter words, explained in the endowment as power words which society had perverted. The whole thing was sickening to read. In fact, the male librarian, who knew its contents, would periodically walk over to our table, concerned about two women reading it, and ask, Are you okay?

    Years later, upon researching Masonry, I saw similarities in Bryants rituals to the old French Masonic rituals. In the upper degrees of Masonry (Joseph Smith was a Mason and transferred much of it into his rituals), practically all their symbols (square and compass with the G in the middle, the point within a circle, the triangle and hexagram), related to male and female sex (see endnote). Lower degree Masons were given a different, more acceptable, interpretation, but in the higher, they got the full Monty. The French also had a Rite of Adoption into their Masonic order when they decided to allow females to be initiated.40

    After reading Bryants book, and also remembering Bryant boasting that he had the same endowment  Joseph Smith had, my mother and I heard, through the Fundamentalist grapevine, that he copied much of the sexual rituals from Fred Collier’s research taken from archived LDS church manuscripts of the early church’s endowment. If Bryant’s rituals were indeed the same as Joseph Smith’s, I wanted to confirm this.

    I wrote to Collier and asked him. He responded by denying any sexual ordinances in church manuscripts as Bryant describes, but did make reference to his research of the Second Anointing, saying sexual activity “may” have been engaged in. (As an active Fundamentalist, Im sure he wouldnt reveal this or say anything to make the early church look bad, even if he does, as a Fundamentalist, believe the present-day church is in apostasy). 

    Nevertheless, he made this interesting statement in his letter back to me:
    In connection with this, you may be interested to know that the sealing altar in the Salt Lake Temple was originally covered with phalic (sic) symbols - this was so until the present day leaders discovered its symbolical meaning, whereupon they had it removed from the Temple.
    All the above is not to suggest that the early churchs temple endowment did indeed practice sex comparable to the Gnostics or John Bryants rituals. Even if suspected, there is no proof. However, I feel that sex between "married couples"probably  took place in the temple. Again, I cant prove it. Husbands and wives who  later leave the LDS Church and participated in today's Second Endowment and mention the "room" they went into, never give all the details of what went on when they were alone. 

    Whether today's other Fundamentalist organizations practice the sex between men cant be proved either.  They certainly wouldn’t admit it. John Bryant's group may have been the only one.
    The gradual awareness that adoption of a man and his family to a high-ranking family in the church gave one a special status that not all enjoyed, grew into resentment and jealousy by others. And when it came to the sealing ceremony, some bumped heads because both men wanted to be the “Father.”

    “Unlimited power corrupts the possessor.” (William Pitt)

    An issue in BYU University Studies explains:

    Adoption as a system of social organization was troubled not only by fathers who demanded too much of their sons, but also by some of the children who in turn expected too much from their fathers…In theory the importance of adoption lay in the validation of one's sonship in the family of God. But some were more interested in being fathers and exercising authority over others than they were in being sons of God. Kingdom-building, or the gathering together of a large number of people over whom one could rule in eternity, enjoyed a good deal of popularity. Brigham Young complained: were I to say to the elders you now have the liberty to build up your kingdoms, one half of them would lie, swear, steal and fight like the devil to get men and women sealed to them. They would even try to pass right by me and go to Jos[eph]…"41

    Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff (who later became the 4th President of the Church), were at odds with each about the doctrine of sealing men to men, with Woodruff claiming he had a revelation to do away with it. Therefore, in 1894, Wilford Woodruff, along with other church officials, publicly renounced the doctrine. From then on, temple sealings were to consist only of men being sealed to their biological father and biological ancestors. This continues in today’s church.

    The resulting dilemma
    After doing away with the doctrine and focusing only on sealing individuals to their own lineage, a dilemma arose because double sealings now existed. Men had been sealed to non-biological fathers, but now were being sealed to their biological fathers. Whose kingdom in heaven were they to be in? Who would be their God? Which families would they be God over?

    Gordon Irving, who worked in the Church Historical Dept, explains how the dilemma was handled:

    The only real problem was what to do about the more than 13,000 souls, most of them dead, who had already been adopted to persons other than their natural parents. After some consideration the First Presidency and the Twelve ruled that these people should be sealed to their own parents but that the old records should be left standing. Any possible problems would be straitened out in the hereafter."42

    Even though the ordaining to the Patriarchal priesthood and sealing of non-biological men to men in the Law of Adoption was discontinued, “Power in the Priesthood” was, and still is, the focus in today’s temple ceremony. The priority of priesthood is evidenced by “priesthood” being indelibly stamped on everything in  the rituals—the name of the sacred undergarment, “Garment of the Holy Priesthood,” including all covenants, handclasps and tokens made in the names of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. The very last ritual given at the temple veil also pertains to the priesthood, which will now be discussed in more detail.

    The following is a very “brief” description of what occurs at the veil of the temple.44 (See endnote for videos and articles on the temple ceremony)

    In the Terrestrial room, a lecturer explains the markings on the veil, giving very biblical-sounding definitions to the Masonic emblems of the square and compass which also appears on the participants’ sacred undergarment.

    The lecturer concludes with:

    Brethren and sisters, these endowments as herein administered, long withheld from the children of men, pertain to the dispensation of the fullness of times and have been revealed to prepare the people for exaltation.59

    Brethren and sisters, strive to comprehend the glorious things presented to you this day. No other people on earth have ever had this privilege, except as they have received the keys of the priesthood given in the endowment.52

    These are what are termed the mysteries of godliness—that which will enable you to understand the expression of the Savior, made just prior to his betrayal: “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent.52

    When the participants go to the veil, they are required to recite the previous passwords, tokens, names and handclasps of the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods they have learned so far, all of which are to enable participants, after they die, to pass by the angels who guard the gates into heaven that pertain to exaltation (also a Gnostic belief). If you forget them, you’re out of luck. While it isn’t verbally stated in the Endowment about passing by the angels, Brigham Young taught it:

    Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.43 (Journal of Discourses 2:31. (emphasis, mine)

    It is also in the Doctrine and Covenants:

    [those who enter into eternal marriage and remain worthy, “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, which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” (D&C 132:19).

    Although participants have been given the name of the First token (the Son) of the Melchizedek priesthood, Patriarchal Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail, they have not yet been given the “name” for the Second Token. The veil is where they are to receive it.

    The procedure
    A male worker behind the white veil representing the Lord, projects his hand through a slit so participants can be quizzed on all the tokens, handshakes, passwords, signs and names received up to that point. Then they are given the “name” of the Second Token of the Melchizedek priesthood. That name, which is one’s passport into the highest heaven, emphasizes what the dominant feature the Celestial Kingdom is to be predicated upon—Priesthood power. The name of Christ isn’t even mentioned at the veil as being necessary to enter heaven. Here it is again:

    Health in the navel, marrow in the bone, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity.

    Once the “name” is learned, the person is allowed to pass through the veil and enter a room that represents the Celestial Kingdom in heaven. Nothing happens in that room. The ceremony is over, unless there are marriages to perform. Those are held in rooms adjacent to the Celestial room.

    According to God’s word in the Bible, none of this ritual is required to enter God’s celestial heaven; only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, being Born Again, receiving the Holy Spirit, being adopted into his family, and remaining faithful to the end.

    One would think that the final name of the Second Melchizedek priesthood, supposedly providing entrance into the Celestial Kingdom, would be a worded declaration by the participant of humble gratitude, acknowledging that he or she is privileged to enter heaven only because of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross—certainly not via any priesthood the Bible says was done away with at Christ’s death and resurrection. (See section entitled, The Biblical Purpose of the Old Testament Priesthood and the Veil in Jewish Temples.”)

    The only thing I know is that it is not practiced by the general membership. Nevertheless, the Second Endowment, aka Second Anointing, is still practiced by a select few. That fact makes me wonder if the doctrine of Adoption may also be included. If not, at least by the General Authorities. There is no proof.

    Therefore, the Adoption of men to men today, remains speculative. (See former Stake President Tom Phillip’s account of receiving the Second Endowment [he later left the church]. (See endnote No. 60)
    Joseph Smith’s implementation of a Church of the Firstborn with its Patriarchal Priesthood, unique governmental structure, doctrine of Adoption of men to men, and its Law of Total Commitment, was looked upon as the “Perfect Law of a Celestial Theocracy.” So central and vital was this level of commitment that no “family could exist on an eternal basis without it.”

    The entire purpose of the church and its temple rituals is to promote the following:

    ·      Power in the male priesthood
    ·      Plural marriage
    ·      Being sealed in the Law of Adoption
    ·      Priesthood dominion over others who will constitute their kingdom both on earth and in heaven
    ·      Receiving the Holy Spirit of Promise and making one’s Calling and Election sure.
    ·      Securing Godhood
    ·      Being “sealed to the Eternal Godhead.45

    The unbiblical doctrine of Adoption continues to be revered, especially with Fundamentalists, as Collier declares:

    …the most Christ-like doctrine ever revealed to man on the Earth. …In its celestial context, it is the greatest single witness that Joseph Smith was indeed a Prophet of God, who was sent down on Earth to restore the whole doctrine of Jesus….it is the principle which Elijah revealed, and without which the whole Earth would be ‘utterly wasted’ at the coming of the Lord. It is at the hearts’ core and the very essence of the Perfect Law of a Celestial Theocracy…46 (emphasis, Collier’s)

    I believe that in some members’ eyes it was a beautiful concept of Celestial union and harmony in preparation for eternity—a chain of families living in perfect love and respect, peace and total commitment to each other. Brigham Young and others even used Jesus’ sayings about unity from John 17, where Jesus admonished oneness between each other. But Brigham’s interpretation was way off. (notice his inclusion of “dominion”):

    [the oneness Jesus spoke of] “…is nothing more than a key-word to Exaltation, Glory, Power, and Excellency, by which Principalities, Kingdom[s], Dominions, and Eternal Lives [meaning eternal production of children] will surround us.” 47 (Bolding, the author’s; underlining and bracket, mine.)

    One can see why unity and submission had to be stressed and seen as a necessity in Smith’s concept. It had to be a factor, considering the chain of priesthood families linked together, or else mandates coming down from each family’s “Father/God” would never be submitted to, at least not without an argument.

    On the surface, the Law of Adoption may have sounded good, but one has to look at its ultimate objective.

    ·      Exaltation of men to Gods; also, women to Goddesses, subject to their husband/God to whom only they must worship (not the biblical God).

    ·      Men glorying in their priesthood power where, as “Fathers” and “Gods,” they will rule in heaven and have dominion over all families sealed to them.

    ·      Enjoying more than one wife and having sex forever in heaven.

    ·      Retaining the lofty title of “Saviors on Mt. Zion,” because they redeemed their dead ancestors by doing their temple work.

    There is nothing in the above list to indicate recipients are gaining heaven where they will continue to be humble servants who glorify only the God of the universe. Instead, any glorifying will be given to the Mormon Gods. Neither is it suggested, in the "name" that provides entry through the temple veil, that they are doing so in recognition that Christ is the one who redeemed them and given them the privilege of entering heaven. To the Mormon, entering heaven only consists in being faithful and being able to recite all the tokens and passwords. Jesus’ redemptive work doesn’t seem to apply anywhere. Only Jesus has the power to redeem individuals.

    The next section contain:

    1.      The New Testament perspective of the Law of Adoption
    2.      The Old Testament priesthood and meaning of the veil in the Jewish temples

    I know this has been a long article, but without understanding the Bible’s teachings on the Law of Adoption and how the Old Testament temple veil and all the ordinances were done away with at Christ’s death, you’re going to fall short of understanding God’s plan for you.


    Biblical Adoption is a spiritual act, a part of the Christian’s Born Again experience where believers are adopted by God and given the right to joint heirship with Christ. No temple ritual is required. Here is a more succinct definition of the biblical Law of Adoption:

    God graciously adopts believers in Christ into his spiritual family and grants them all the privileges of heirship when believers give their hearts to Him and trust in and through Christ. They then become children of God, a position they lost at the Fall. This right is given only to those whom God has justified by faith and has caused to be born again. (Rom 3:28)
    For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26)
    The Bible makes it clear that we lost our status as “children” in God’s family as a result of the fall and inheriting the sin nature. This caused a spiritual death, meaning a separation between God and us. Only acceptance and faith in Christ who redeemed us from sin and our being Born Again, can restore it.

    But as many as received Him [Christ], to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (Jn 1:12) (emphasis, mine)

    Mormons believe they have always been children of God. Adam and Eve’s fall did not make them lose that status. This is because they believe their spirit bodies were literally born through God and one of his wives before this world was created, and their spirits sent down to inhabit the physical bodies of babies. As a result, they have divine blood flowing through their spiritual veins; therefore, there’s no need to “make” them children of God, certainly not through any born again experience. They are also taught that the fall was a “stumble upward” in the plan of God who intended Adam and Eve to fall.

    Generally speaking, yes, we are all children of God simply because he created us; but, there is a difference between our being created and being in the “family” of God as the Bible teaches.

    "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Rom. 8:14-17. (underlining, mine)

    "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.  And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.  Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Gal 4:4-7. (underlining mine)

    God chose, in eternity past, to save sinners eternally by bringing us into his family, and making us his very own children. His plan was to be implemented through His son, Jesus Christ.

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (Jn 3:16)

    We can’t achieve Adoption into God’s family by our own works--temple, or otherwise. Only through God’s grace and accepting Christ into one’s heart. Especially not through a temple ritual and learning passwords. If that were the case, God would not have had to send Jesus. The Bible tells us that he predestined us to adoption as sons (and daughters) through Jesus Christ according to His will—not through any effort of our own:

    Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. Eph. 1:5-6 (underlining mine)

    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons [and daughters] of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (Jn 1:12-13) (bracket mine)

    Sooner or later, man has always had to decide whether he worships his own power or the power of God.” Arnold J. Toynbee

    For a fuller explanation of the meaning of “Adoption” and why Paul used this term, see endnote No. 49.

    The only process of Adoption into God’s family, as his children, is the biblical way—not by being subservient to a series of Mormon, Patriarchal priesthood-holding “Father/Gods” of many wives, to whom other men and families must be submissive to throughout eternity.


    The only purpose for priesthood in the beginning was to offer burnt offerings and blood sacrifices of animals for forgiveness of the people’s sins. God set it up to be a type and shadow pointing to the day when Jesus, the ultimate Lamb of God, should come and shed his blood for the forgiveness of sin. T, and Christ would enter into heaven as our only high priest—the only one to hold that title from then on.

    Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins. Heb. 9:22

    The Old Testament blood sacrifices gave the Israelites forgiveness for the year’s sins, but had to be repeated every year. It was only temporary until Christ could come and offer a once-for-all sacrifice for sin that would be eternally permanent.

    With the shedding of his blood and his resurrection, Jesus became our High Priest in heaven after the order of Melchizedek (Heb. 4:14; 6:20)—the only one to hold this from then on!

    But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption (for all). (Heb. 9:11-12. emphasis, mine)

    The veil is first mentioned in the Old Testament tabernacle set up by Moses at God’s command. A veil separated and kept everyone out from the Holy of Holies where the presence of God was. The veil represented man’s sinful flesh-nature. This meant no sinful person could go in and have access to God.
    Veil of the temple
    There was one exception. The high priest could go in once a year; nevertheless, had to set up a smoke screen so he couldn’t see the actual presence of God on the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant. This was on the Day of Atonement. The high priest would sprinkle the blood of sacrificed animals in the Holy of Holies. The Israelites, through that blood, would be forgiven of their sins, but had to be done over every year. Forgiveness before Christ was never permanent.

    Why blood?
    The blood, as mentioned earlier, was symbolic and pointed to the final, sacrificial blood Jesus would shed on the cross for the sins of the world. Even as the high priest could never enter God’s presence without the sacrificed animals’ blood, similarly, we cannot enter the presence of God except through the sacrificial blood of Jesus.

    With Jesus’ death and his perfect blood offering for sin, a veil was no longer needed representing man’s sinful nature to prevent him from going into the Holy of Holies and God’s presence because Jesus had no sin nature. His flesh, representing no sin, became the new veil of the temple made without hands (Acts 7:48; Mark 14:58). His blood contained permanent forgiveness for sins and would allow believers access to God’s presence. All physical temple ritual was done away with, including the Levitical priesthood and high priests. Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection rendered all temple ritual null and void.

    And you being dead in your sins… hath he quickened together with him, blotting out the handwriting of ordinances [of the Old Testament laws]that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (Col. 2:14) (underlining and bracket mine)

    This is why, at Jesus’ death, the veil guarding the entrance to the Holy of Holies was rent:

    “And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” (Matt 27:51)

    God's plan, through Christ Jesus,is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us and has become our eternal High Melchizedek Priest. (Heb. 6:19-20 NLT)

    [We now have] boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his [sinless] flesh.” (Heb. 10:19-20. Underlining and bracket mine)

    The Message Bible puts it even plainer:

    So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. (Heb. 10:19-21)

    As children adopted into God’s family through faith in Christ, we belong to the Church of the Firstborn. Speaking to believers, the writer of Hebrews said:

    [Y]ou have come to Mount Zion, even to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to countless multitudes of angels in festal gathering, and to the church (assembly) of the Firstborn who are registered [as citizens] in heaven, and to the God Who is Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous (the redeemed in heaven) who have been made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator (Go-between, Agent) of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks [of mercy], a better and nobler and more gracious message than the blood of Abel [which cried out for vengeance]. (Heb. 10:22-24 Amp. Emphasis, mine) (The “spirits of the righteous include those from the Old Testament who had died and redeemed in heaven because they were justified by their faith.)

    No temple ritual, Mormon or otherwise, requires one to go through a temple veil with secret passwords to enter God’s presence in order to belong to the heavenly Church of the Firstborn.

    Entering into Jesus' true Church of the Firstborn (see full explanation in endnote 48) is gained through faith in Jesus’ redemptive act on the cross, being born again, walking in the Holy Spirit, which results in being adopted into God’s family, a position we lost at the Fall. Mormon rituals won’t do it.
    Christ, as our eternal high priest, has granted us access to God in the spiritual Holy of Holies

    Jesus warned against false religions:

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth
    not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way,
    the same is a thief and a robber. (Jn 10:1. Emphasis mine)

    The apostle Paul added:

    But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you 
    than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. (Gal. 1:8)

    Until next time,

    "Thank you, Janis, for this "further light and knowledge" about the rituals I used to embrace. Thank you even more for the explanation of what the Bible means by teaching us of our relationship with God and Christ. Thanks again." (Anonymous)
    (You're welcome)

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    (1)               The LDS Church teaches that it is a continuation of the “Church of Christ” established in 1830 by Joseph Smith. This original church underwent several name changes during the 1830s, being called the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of God, and then in 1834, the name was officially changed to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. In April 1838, the name was officially changed to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. After Smith died, Brigham Young and the largest body of Smith's followers incorporated the LDS Church in 1851 by legislation of the State of Deseret under the name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," which included a hyphenated "Latter-day" and a British-style lower-case “d”. (Wikipedia)
    (2)               Adoption—Law of the Kingdom—Forgotten Doctrine of Mormonism, by Fred C. Collier, Introduction, np; hereinafter “Forgotten Doctrine.” Apr. 1988, Vol. 8 No. 4, Collier’s Publishing Co.
    (3)               “The Church of the Firstborn and the Holy Order of God, Pt 1”, Fred C. Collier, np. Hereinafter, “Holy Order of God.”
    (4)               Speech of Brigham Young recorded in the Journals of John D. Lee, 1846-47 and 1859, edited by Charles Kelley, pages 80-81. Brigham Young also made it clear that obedience to the law of adoption was essential for those seeking salvation: "I have gathered a number of families around me through the law of adoption and seal of the covenant according to the order of the priesthood and others have done likewise, it being the means of salvation to bring us back to God."
    (5)               HC 6:184-185; TPJS 331; WJS 319. Cited in Forgotten Doctrine, Collier, pp 5-6.
    (6)               “The Church of the Firstborn and its Formal Organization…Together with a Brief Summary of its Principles and Doctrinal Teachings and a Short History of Succession in the Priesthood” a talk by Fred C. Collier, April 3rd, 1992. np. Hereinafter “Church of Firstborn Organization.”
    (7)               Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pages 613-14. Emphasis, mine. Cited at, np
    (8)   “Holy Order of God,” Pt 1, Fred C. Collier, np.
    (9)   History of the Church, 4:492–93; from a Joseph Smith journal entry, Jan. 6, 1842, Nauvoo, Illinois. Cited at
    (10)           Journals of John D. Lee, p. 89.
    (11)           “What Every Elder Should Know—and Every Sister as Well: A Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government”, Boyd K. Packer, Ensign February 1993.)
    (12)           Forgotten Doctrine, Collier, op cit., p. 3.
    (13)           McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 558.
    (14)           “Church of Firstborn Organization,” Collier. np.
    (15)           “Church of the Firstborn Organization.” Collier. np.
    (16)           TPJS 323, 363; TPBY 2:2/16/47. Cited in Forgotten Doctrine, op cit., p. 41.) Regarding adoption to the 12 Apostles: “It was ascertained that many of the saints had inter-married with gentile stock, and were thus debarred from a full enjoyment of the rights and privileges of the house and lineage of Abraham. But these lost blessings could be restored by ingraftment upon the stock of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, represented by the twelve apostles, each of whom was deemed as in lineal descent from Abraham, tracing his consanguinity [kinship] to Isaac and Jacob, and thence to himself as a chief of one of the tribes. Romans, xi. 16, is quoted as authorizing the doctrine, which requires every member of the church, except the twelve, to choose a father fresh one of the latter.” (“Hubert Howe Bancroft’s History of Utah 1540-1886” p.361. Cited at
    (17)           History of Utah, p. 361) Cited at
    (18)           “Sealing Men to Men” Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue 92, Sandra and Jerald(?) Tanner. at Hereinafter “Men to Men.”
    (19)           Joseph Smith, “Celestial Family Organization” The Latter-Day Saints' Millennial Star, Vol. 5-7, p. 189. Cited at
    (20)           History of Utah, p. 361) Cited at
    (21)           “Men to Men.” Tanner.
    (22)           Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, Vol. 3, pg. 131; cited in Tanner, “Men to Men.”
    (23)           Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 1833-1898, typescript, edited by Scott G. Kenney, 1985, Vol. 9, page 408)
    (24)           Wilford Woodruff's Journal, 1833-1898, typescript, edited by Scott G. Kenney, 1985, Vol. 8, page 352A. Cited in Tanner, “Men to Men” Salt Lake City Messenger, Issue 92.
    (25)           John D. Lee: Zealot - Pioneer -Builder -Scapegoat, page 73. Cited in Tanner, “Men to Men,” Issue 92.
    (26)           Forgotten Doctrine. Introduction, np. Collier.
    (27)           Gordon Irving, who worked for the Historical Department, stated this in an article in The Latter-Day Saints’ Millennial Star, June 1843, Vol. 4, pgs 17-19: "No consensus exists with regard to the date when the first adoptions were performed... It is certainly possible, perhaps probable, that Joseph Smith did initiate certain trusted leaders into the adoptionary order as early as 1842."  See also Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1974, p. 295; cited at
    (28)           Brigham Young’s grandson, Kimball Young, Chairman of the Dept. of Sociology at Northwestern University, cited in “Men to Men,” issue 93. Tanner.
    (29)           Wilford Woodruff’s report of Pratt’s speech given on August 15, 1847 Wilford Woodruff Journals 3:260), cited in Forgotten Doctrine, p. 53.
    (30)           For Second Endowment description, see and scroll down about 8 pages. For First Endowment, including pictures, see
    (31)           Mormonism: Shadow or Reality? Jerald and Sandra Tanner, p. 471.
    (32)           Forgotten Doctrine, Collier, p. 7.
    (33)           “Holy Order” Collier. np.
    (34)           Material taken from “The Church of the Firstborn and its Formal Organization on April 3rd, 1992, Together with a Brief Summary of its Principles and Doctrinal Teachings and a Short History of Succession in the Priesthood.” A speech given by Collier on the evening of April 16th, 1992, in the home of Ursula Lemesany, at Manti, Utah by Fred C. Collier.
    (35)           Joseph Smith Diary, 28 Sept. 1843, LDS Church Archives. Also in Wilford Woodruff’s Historian’s Private Journal, 1858, typescript p. 24; original in LDS Church Archives. Cited in “Fullness of the Priesthood: The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice,” David John Buerger, p. 21-22. Hereinafter “Buerger
    (36)           Book of Anointings, 8 Jan. 1846…original in LDS Church Archives. Cited in Buerger, pp. 3-4.
    (37)           “Men to Men” Issue No. 92. Tanner
    (38)           Isn't One Wife Enough? The Story of Mormon Polygamy, 1954, pages 278-280. Cited in Tanner’s newsletter Issue 92.
    (39)           “Law of Adoption (Mormonism)” at
    (40)           The following are informative sites on double-meaning symbols:
    Sexual symbols:
    Rite of Adoption in French Masonic orders: and also
    Sexual orientation:
    (41)           Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1974, pp. 299-303.
    (42)           Brigham Young University Studies, Spring 1974, pages 312-313.
    (44)           Video of full temple ceremony:
    Video of doing baptisms for the dead:
    My personal account of going through the temple, including information on the 2nd Endowment:
    Article on First Endowment w/ pictures:
    (45)           Forgotten Doctrine, Collier. Introduction, np.
    (46)           Forgotten Doctrine, p. 8.
    (47)           JD 1:272. Cited in Forgotten Doctrine, p. 57.
    (48)           The Biblical Church of the Firstborn.
    The Bible makes it clear that the Church of the Firstborn means the Church of Jesus Christ in heaven. Describing Jesus as the Firstborn does not refer to his literal human birth.

    The Greek understanding of “firstborn” meant preeminent. Proto and totokos = prototokos, means “first, pre-eminent” and “first in time.” They used it not only to indicate preeminence, but also priority as first in a rank from a beginning, meaning eternity. Colossians 1:15 (AMP) confirms this:
     [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. (emphasis mine)

    In other words, He was first, back in the beginning of the world.

    In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.(Jn 1:1-3)

    And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. (emphasis mine) (Jn 1:14-15 Ampl)

    The writer of Hebrews calls the entire New Testament church the “Church of the Firstborn” to indicate their church’s association with Jesus, acknowledging his priority and preeminence.

     But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Heb. 12:22-24)
    Nowhere does the Bible describe temple rituals as necessary to belong to the Church of the Firstborn, requiring secret handshakes and passwords, men ruling over men by virtue of their priesthood power, becoming Gods, plurality of marriage and continued sex in heaven. Neither does it even hint one’s salvation will fall short if believers don’t participate in the Mormon-type temple rituals here on earth, or by having it done vicariously for them after they’re dead.

    Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection is what forgave and redeemed believers from their sins. His death also did away with the Old Testament, yearly ordinances for forgiveness of sins and all temple ritual:

    Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us [because of our sins], and took it out of the way, nailing it to his Cross. (brackets mine) (Col. 2:14)

    There is no longer any condemnation for believers:

    There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:1)
                The biblical understanding is what brings membership in the Church of the Firstborn. 
    (49)      Explanation of Paul’s use of the term of Adoption
    Paul used the term ‘adopted as sons,’ or becoming “adult sons’ into God’s family, when he wrote to the believers in Rome. He knew the Roman and Greek believers would understand this concept because of their understanding of Roman law and customs.

    In that culture, if you were an adopted son, you had legal rights as if you were a son born naturally in the family. The adopted son had the right to the family name of the person who adopted him, and the right to the full inheritance of the father’s property. This was attested to in a public ceremony. Similarly, Sonship was also a status of biological sons when they came of age and inherited all the rights of the father. Those still holding the status of “child” could not receive any inheritance, even though biologically born into the family. (Gal 4:1) This is what happens when God adopts us as his children. We come of age when we are Born Again. Adoption was the only way, since man lost that relationship after the Fall.

    The biblical Law of Adoption mentioned in Eph. 1:5-6, that bestows “Sonship” and “Daughtership” status into God’s family, gives believers three privileges they didn’t have before:

    (1)               A personal relationship as son and daughter with God as their Abba Father—an intimate term comparable to daddy or papa.

    (2)               A joint heir with Christ.

    (3)               Qualification to inherit everything the Heavenly Father has.

    How does “Sonship” work inside our spirit?
    Galatians 3:26 says, “Ye are all the children of Godby faith in Christ Jesus.” Faith and the Born Again experience brings Jesus Christ into the believer’s heart—and since Jesus already holds Sonship position with God, believers automatically acquire Christ’s Sonship status when He enters them.  And the way God confirms that one has gained this status, is explained in Romans 4:6: Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father. [He is now your real Father.]

    In other words, Christ as son in the believer’s heart, enables him or her to call God, Abba Father. In reality, however, it is not really the individual who calls out to God as Abba Father, but the Spirit of Christ the Son, speaking from within the believer’s heart. This is the “mystery of Christ in us” which, Colossians 1:27 teaches is our only hope for an inheritance in glory.

    Once we become a child of God, “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Rom. 8:16-17)

    Can you get this status of “Sonship” through a Mormon ritual?
    There’s only one way to be adopted into God’s family and become a Son or Daughter, and that’s by faith—being spiritually born again, accepting and loving Christ, and walking and living by the Holy Spirit. He or she then becomes a “new creature;” that is, he is “born again” and has access to the presence of God. The whole redemptive purpose of the cross was that we might receive this adoption.

    Females are included in this adoption, and confirmed in Galatians:

    There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28 NLT)
    (50)   Links for articles on the Godhead at:
    (51)        “The Second Anointing.”
    (53)        Journal of Discourses, 2:260. Cited in Buerger, p. 37,
    (54) The many words bolded and underlined in this quote by the author was purposely removed by me.
    (55)        TPBY 5:11/30/62. Cited in President Brigham Young’s Doctrine on Deity, Fred Collier, Vol. 1, p. 194. Cited at Hereinafter “Deity.
    (56)        “Deity” Collier, Vol. 1, p. 193.
    (57)        “The Development of the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4:33-76.
    (58)        “Deity.” Collier, Vol. 1, p. 193.
    (59)        Mormonism, Shadow or Reality, Tanner, p. 471.
          (60)   Tom Phillips account:

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