Question: Is it ever allowable to modify a religious ceremony?

Table of Contents

Question: Is it ever allowable to modify a religious ceremony?

The ceremony by which the endowment is administered is subject to modification, but the elements of the endowment are not

Harold B. Lee emphasized that the means by which the endowment and its message are presented are subject to modification

Now, you think for a moment—in the upper office over [Joseph Smith's] store, with no equipment like we have in our temples today, the endowment had to be given by lecture. The Prophet Joseph Smith through these, his counselors, and others as you heard their names, attended to the matters that we now have given in various ways. Sometimes our people who go through the temples are a bit startled because of the varied ways in which the endowment is presented. Perhaps, as under inspiration they studied the nature of the endowment, they thought to make it a little more meaningful to the patrons who would come: part by dramatization, part by question and answer, part by lecture, part by picturization on the walls of some of the temples. We have artists who have tried to put those who go through the temple in the mood of the lesson to be taught as they proceed through the temple.
....But it is the same message that was given by lecture by the Prophet Joseph Smith in his office over [his] store. Now, when we have that in mind, we will see why the Prophet, in the beginning of this dispensation, gave certain instructions to have the brethren stimulated in their thinking.[1]

Notes

  1. Harold B. Lee, Teachings of Harold B. Lee (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996), 578. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)