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Which Temple Covenants Am I Under?

Don - March 10, 2007

When I attend the Temple I do try and listen carefully or try and look at things differently to get a new perspective. I’ve listened and thought what if everything Satan says is a total lie. Then I would listen as if everything he said was almost totally true.

I thought of something different last night. Which temple covenants am I under? I took out my endowment before the big changes in the endowment took place.Two items that made me think was first the covenant of chastity we make.

The old covenant was very specific. The covenant now is very broad so as to incompass all aspects of sexual impurity.

If I were a “letter of the law” person, I could go have a sexual encounter with whomever and not be “breaking” my temple covenant. Someone under the new chastity covenant could do the same thing and they would be breaking their covenant.

Second, the penalty for revealing the signs and tokens is also considerably different. The penalty to me is very very severe. To those under the newer covenant it’s certainly different.

Personally I think I am still under the covenants that I made when I got my endowment. Each time since I have attended the Temple it is by proxiy so that someone else’s work/endowment is being done. When I attend the temple I am doing the “work” in behalf of someone else, not for me.

I’ve listened carefully and I think I’m right. Attending the temple and doing an endowment session isn’t like renewing our baptismal covenants when we partake of the sacrament. Nothing is said about covenant renewal, or recommittment or renewal of our own endowment when we attend for someone else.

As the endowment changes we remain under covenant to keep those covenants that we personally made when we received our own endowment. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t keep the new covenants that are presented in the Temple, we probably should. I would also say that we should obey the commandments, even as they change. We should obey what the prophet says is current for us in our day, no argument. But when we make a specific covenant, especially in the Temple, then we should be bound by that covenant.

(I did tell my wife about this and no I’m not looking for some justification for a sexual encounter!)


  1. I compare Satan’s pronouncement to what happened to Norman on Harry Mudd’s robot planet:

    Kirk: Harry lied to you, Norman. Everything Harry says is a lie. Remember that, Norman. *Everything* he says is a lie.

    Mudd: Now I want you to listen to me very carefully, Norman. I’m… lying.

    Norman: You say you are lying, but if everything you say is a lie, then you are telling the truth, but you cannot tell the truth because you always lie… illogical! Illogical! Please explain! You are human; only humans can explain! Illogical!

    Kirk: I am not programmed to respond in that area.

    Norman shorts out and explodes.

    Comment by Phouchg — March 10, 2007 @ 9:18 pm

  2. And how do you interpret the covenant with Christ’s teaching that if a man looks on a woman with lust, he has committed adultery with her already in his heart?

    Comment by Floyd the Wonderdog — March 11, 2007 @ 4:26 am

  3. I believe every Covenant (like the Ten Commandments) are just like Jesus said, “Love God and Love your Neighbor.” All other obligation, baptism or Temple, is either a reflection or specified examples of those two.

    What is interesting is that the Temple Covenenants break down into three sections. The first grouping is self, the second is family, and the third is church or community. Again, this relates to the idea that all specific Covenants are examples of larger responsibilities represented by them.

    Comment by Jettboy — March 11, 2007 @ 8:02 am

  4. Sounds like you are pondering the words “relations” vs. “intercourse”. Remember that we are also under the the covenant to forake any and all impure practices.

    D&C 98: 11
    11 And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceedeth forth out of the mouth of God.

    D&C 59: 6
    6 Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Thou shalt not steal; neither commit adultery, nor kill, nor do anything like unto it.

    Matt. 5: 28
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a bwoman to clust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Also, we are expected to live the law of consecration. We are not living under the United Order, but that does not mean that we need to miss out on the blessings of devoting all of our time, talents, and resources to God.

    Comment by David B — March 11, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  5. Don this is very interesting because while going through the temple yesterday I was pondering the exact same thing about the law of chastity. Well, not exactly the same….I received my endowment post-revisions (actually I was also thinking yesterday that had I gone through pre-revisions I think I would have gone apostate, they frightening the bee-jeezus out of me). Anyway, so I don’t have anything to compare the new chastity covenant to, but I was just struck yesterday by how not all encompassing it is. It seems to outlaw only a very specific act, while at church chastity covers a whole slew of offenses from p0rnography to masturbation to immodest attire.

    David B.-don’t those verses contain commandments as opposed to covenants? They are different things. A covenant it an sort of agreement I enter into with the Lord, where as commandments are given to all, whether they agree to them or not. For example, I would not say I have covenanted to keep the Word of Wisdom or attend church, although those are oligations I have been asked to fill and I do so.

    Comment by Katie — March 11, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  6. According to the letter of the law it makes sense to rank commandments and covenants in some sort of hierachy. This isnt necessarilty wrong and can be helpful. However, I think the Spirit of the Law goes beyond thinking in terms of what sins I can and can’t get away with.

    Comment by David B — March 11, 2007 @ 5:17 pm

  7. You just need to figure out if this is the same as when the law of Moses was done away with. The penalties may not be as specific but either way, it REALLY stinks for you to break them!:)

    Comment by Bret — March 11, 2007 @ 6:35 pm

  8. I don’t disagree that there are commandments that should keep anyone from all sexual relations with someone you are not married to. And I’m not looking at ways of getting out of or around certain covenants.

    But when you make a covenant with God, you are bound to that covenant if you want the blessing. I feel that I’m bound to the covenants I made, not the “new” ones under the revised endowment.

    Comment by Don Clifton — March 12, 2007 @ 10:53 am

  9. Whether “sexual intercourse” is a subset of “sexual relations” or vice versa depends on how you define the terms. The first two definitions of “intercourse” in my unabridged dictionary say nothing about sex. If you add “sexual” as an adjective, why do you do anything more than restrict the term to intercourse that is in some way sexual? Isn’t sexual conversation “sexual intercourse”?

    Comment by JrL — March 12, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

  10. I suppose a lot would be learned by comparing other languages for their present and past temple translation.

    Comment by cchrissyy — March 13, 2007 @ 7:51 pm

  11. I was recently pondering similar things. All the other temple ordinances, when done by proxy, always use “for and in behalf of” – why doesn’t the endowment?

    Comment by ed42 — March 16, 2007 @ 8:39 pm

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