ASPECTS OF THE LDS TEMPLE experience have, once again, been modified. The endowment ceremony now features prominent images of Jesus and the witness couple is reportedly eliminated. Most interesting to me, however, is the addition of an introductory film that identifies the covenants that supplicants will be asked to make, seemingly to address the lack of informed consent that LDS and former LDS have been advocating for. I’m not sure that learning of these covenants just before the ceremony reduces peer pressure or clarifies much about them, but this shift tells me the men in charge are recognizing that informed consent is something members must be able to make. They’ve been listening, just as they (eventually) listened to women who spoke up about the way the previous endowment script disconnected them from a direct relationship with God. Other changes in the last 50 years include the removal of blood atonement penalties from the endowment and shields in the initiatory. Each of these were aspects of the temple experience that advocates justifiably asked be modified.
Advocacy from within the Church has helped bring many changes in recent history. Protect LDS Children and Ordain Women had members and leaders re-examining policy and perspective. I won’t enumerate the many positive changes each movement helped the Church achieve, but the impact of member advocacy is clearly seen in both movements and brought about celebration from the rank and file.Continue reading “Advocating for the LDS Advocates Within”