1842 Joseph Smith Ministers the first endowments on the upper floor of the Nauvoo store teaching the concepts of washing, anointing, clothing in the garment of the Holy Priesthood, and instruction on the signs, tokens and key words of the Holy Priesthood.
1843 Eternal marriage, sealings and the second anointings are instituted. Women receive the endowment for the first time1845 Under Brigham Young’s leadership, the endowment is performed in the Nauvoo Temple as a ritual drama, with a Creation Room, Garden Room, Telestial Room, and Celestial Room.
1877 The first recorded endowments for the dead are performed. Brigham produces the first written text of the endowment for use in the St. George Temple.
1893 Church leaders order minor alterations in the language and procedures of the endowment, trying to ensure greater consistency in how the endowment is administered in different temples.
1904-1906 The endowment is publicly scrutinized during Congressional hearings to determine if senator elect Reed Smoot has taken a treasonable oath. Of particular concern is the “oath of vengeance” added to the ceremony after Joseph Smith’s death.
1919-1927 A committee appointed by Heber J Grant produces a revised endowment to be used in all temples. Changes include:*Eliminating the oath of vengeance*Eliminating the graphic descriptions from the penalties*Reducing the number of times the robes of the priesthood are changed from one shoulder to the other*Discontinuing the temple choir (who had formerly performed the hymn chosen by Lucifer’s preacher), in favor of congregational singing.
1923 The church approves a shorter garment for optional use outside the temple (extending to the elbows and knees, rather than the wrists and ankles (as this original pattern of the Garment of the Holy Priesthood was revealed by the Angel Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith and repeated several times to make sure he made it correctly) However, the longer garment remains mandatory for use in the endowment.
1936 A codified explanation of the symbolism of the marks on the veil is added to the endowment.1945 The endowment is administered in Spanish in the Mesa Arizona temple, the first time the ceremony is administered in a language other than English.
1950s The first filmed versions of the endowment are made, for the use in the Swiss and New Zealand temples (with different casts for different languages),
1960s Film becomes the standard medium for presenting the endowment. Filmed endowments take on a theatrical quality (with costumes, scenery, music, etc.) and are dubbed from English into other languages.
As the filmed endowment makes congregational singing awkward, the preacher’s hymn is discontinued.
1970s Revisions are made to the portions of the ceremony involving Lucifer’s preacher; Lucifer no longer specifies the amount of the preacher’s salary and a reference to Satan having black skin is omitted.
1975 The long pre-1923 garment becomes optional in the temple and is eventually discontinued.
1978 The endowment is now made available to all Latter-Day Saints.1990 Following surveys of Church member’s feelings about the endowment, major revisions are made:
*All penalties, the five points of fellowship, and Adamic language is omitted.
*The part of the preacher is eliminated, as well as a reference to Lucifer’s “popes and priests.”
*Women no longer covenant to obey the law of their husband.
*Language which indicates Eve for initiating the fall is dropped.
*Many references to Adam are replaced with references to Adam and Eve.
*The lecture at the veil is discontinued*Orders from Eloheim are repeated fewer times.
2019 January 3 Russell M Nelson made the following major changes:
First Presidency issued a general statement, explaining that alterations have been made many times in the past.
From their beginnings in the 19th century to today, temple ceremonies “have been adjusted periodically, including language, methods of construction, communication, and record-keeping,” the three-member First Presidency said in a news release. “Prophets have taught that there will be no end to such adjustments as directed by the Lord to his servants.”
- It begins with a short, two minute message from the First Presidency, explaining that at times we update the endowment, that this came by revelation, and that members should not talk about any aspect of it, or even that there have been changes to the endowment. This explanation is not part of the Endowment, per se, but will play for a temporary period to explain.
- The movie is new, consisting of little live action at all, mostly still pictures, even of Adam and Eve, with voice-over narration. There is new music, beautiful and appropriate.
- Much of the repetitive “return and report” was eliminated.
- God no longer speaks just to the man, but to both Adam and Eve equally.
- The separate covenants of obedience for man and woman are integrated into a single covenant for all, with new language to obey god, which this temple worker found to be very uplifting.
- The robes are no longer applied for the Aaronic Priesthood, but rather, only done once for the Melchizedek/Terrestrial Kingdom. Slippers are no longer considered part of the robes and thus are not removed.
- Instead of “That will do” after covenants, the text now says ‘Thank you’.
- The Law of the Gospel is now referred to as the “Higher Law”.
- The Law of Chastity is expressed with more equality.
- At the end of the dramatic / movie section, BOTH Adam and Eve direct comments to the audience, and Eve has the last word.
- No veiling of women.
Total time was between 1 hour 20 and 1 hour 22 minutes, compared to over 1 hour 40 for the prior endowment.
– Instead of women giving themselves and the men not, they both just to receive each other, and there’s talk of them counseling with each other and laboring together to raise a family and men are given a charge to be gentle etc.
The Prophet Joseph Smith prophesied that the Church would change the ordinances and then change the priesthood, with this would come the curse.
“The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.” -Isaiah 24:5-6
THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH TAUGHT:
“If there is no change of ordinances, there is no change of Priesthood.” -TPJS p.158
“Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.” -TPJS p.308
“I know that all men will be damned if they do not come in the way which He hath opened, and this is the way marked out by the word of the Lord” -TPJS p.199
“What if we should attempt to get the gift of the Holy Ghost through any other means except the signs or way which God hath appointed- would we obtain it? Certainly not; and all other means would fail. The Lord says do so and so, and I will bless you.