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The initiate first sits through an incredibly repetitious and tedious account of Mormonisms "creation by committee." The Mormon god, Elohim, sends down Jehovah (the pre-existent Jesus) and Michael (the pre-existent Adam) (21) to create the world. Chuck Sackett, a former Mormon temple worker, who performed more than 1,000 temple endowments, thinks this opening drama may be designed to have a quasi-hypnotic effect on the temple patrons, anesthetizing them to the spiritual shocks to follow:
"(Temple patrons stay in) one room for approximately one-and-a-half-hours, watching the film and officiator as he pantomimes to a tape recording (the patron sees) the Creation drama, the Garden of Eden drama, the Lone and Dreary world drama, and the Terrestrial World presentation. This might be described as a conscious-lowering, mood altering experience. The movie shows rather hypnotic scenes of volcano and lava flows, the ocean, and animal and flowers scenes as the dialog drones through a very monotonous, repetitious description of the six creative periods During this segment many patrons are asleep, and most are drowsy by its completion." (21A)
Adam and Eve come on "stage" portrayed by a man and woman dressed in white clothing. In the Salt Lake Temple, Elohim and Jehovah come down and give them their instruction in a clever little lighted elevator. They are also played by men in white suits.
Then, suddenly, Lucifer walks in. He has on a black suit and tie and a white shirt, and stands out like a black star amid the bland white uniforms (In film versions of the ceremony he wears a crimson robe with a black over-garment). Around his waist was a satin apron covered with Masonic symbols. (Again, the camera does not give you a close-up of his apron and none of the handshakes or penalties are recorded on film).
"Lucifer" proceeds to lead Adam and Eve into temptation, explaining that it is necessary for her to eat of the forbidden fruit to experience the opposites in life: pleasure and pain, good and evil, etc. Here he is teaching essential Gnostic doctrine. (22) Gnostics believed that it was our destiny to be part of both good and evil, and that this was a necessary part of our development. This LDS dogma comes from the Book of Mormon:
"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one." (2Nephi 2:11)
The ancient Gnostic heretics couldnt have put it better. Neo-Manichaeans and the Cathars of medieval times had similar doctrines. (23) IN more modern times, the Russian cult, the Khylisti (of which the notorious Rasputin was a member) carried this dualism to its logical conclusion, claiming that one had to sin all possible sins in order to repent properly! (24) A central maxim of witchcraft is, "Ye must be willing to suffer in order to learn." (24A)
The final error which Lucifer teaches in this part of the endowment is that "Father" (the Mormon god) had to disobey and eat the fruit in a similar garden in the past in order to attain his godhood. Again, there is not a shred of biblical evidence for this belief; the Bible teaches, in no uncertain terms, that God is sinless and pure. God has not evolved nor is he a man:
"For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (Mal. 3:6)
"God is not a man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent." (Num. 23:19)
Since the Bible is clear that God is perfect, and since these verses, among literally dozens of others, assert that God is not a man, nor can he change, it is irrational nonsense to think that He ever sinned.
Finally, Lucifer convinces Eve that there is "no other way" for her to evolve spiritually, and she eats of the fruit. He sends her to Adam and instructs her to get him to eat as well.
Adam pompously chastises his wife for eating the fruit and declares his fidelity to "Fathers commandments.
With a doleful countenance, Eve then asks him if he intends to keep all the commandments. He naturally says he will. She then reminds him that
" Father has commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth. I have partaken of the fruit and by so doing shall by cast out, and you will be left a lone man in the Garden of Eden." (25)
Adam, seeing that he is caught in an insoluble dilemma, opts for what seems to be the lesser of the two evils and eats, " that man might be."
That is, of course, a subtle corruption of the Genesis account. It twists the first sin of our parents into a sort of noble sacrifice. Nowhere does the Bible condone sin. But this strange teaching introduces a dangerous sort of moral pragmatism. LDS authorities have gone so far as to say that Adam "fell upward," (26) and that "it is not always a sin to transgress a law." (27)
But, be that as it may, Adam eats of the fruit as per the script, and then the unhappy couple recognized Lucifer for who he is