Topical Guide/Temples/Endowment

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Why were "penalties" removed from the Endowment?

Summary: Critics point out that a former version of the endowment used to contain mention of various "penalties" associated with the breaking of the temple covenants. They use this fact to claim that the temple encouraged violence or vengeance against those who violated its covenants, or that the Church sought to use fear to motivate members to keep their covenants.

Relationship between the Endowment and Freemasonry

Summary: Critics of the LDS Church often point to similarities between the rituals of Freemasonry and the LDS temple endowment and claim that since Joseph Smith was initiated as a Freemason in Nauvoo, Illinois shortly before he introduced the full endowment to the Saints (as opposed to the partial endowment given in the Kirtland Temple), he must have incorporated elements of the Masonic rites into his own ceremony. Implicit in this charge is the idea that Joseph Smith's ritual was not revealed to him by God and thus not a legitimate restoration of ancient Israelite and early Christian ordinances.

Changes to the Endowment ordinance

Summary: Latter-day Saints believe that the Temple endowment is an eternal ordinance that Joseph Smith received by revelation from God. Why, then, have changes been made to it several times since it was first revealed?