clasped hands LDS endowment


Why this website?
Site contents
About the endowment


The Initiatory
The Endowment Proper
 The Creation
 The Garden
 The Telestial World
 The Terrestrial World
 The Veil


Baptism for the dead
Second anointing


Historical documents
Masonic parallels
The endowment on film
Garments & temple clothes
Suggested readings

Note: This text represents the endowment as it was performed prior to 1990; significant 1990 revisions are explained in footnotes.

On the Historical documents page, you can read the current ceremony or a side-by-side comparison of the pre- and post-1990 versions.


[Initiates assemble in silence in the chapel. When all is ready, they are ushered into the Creation Room. Here and throughout the ceremony, men sit on one side of the room, women on the other.]

FIRST LECTURER: Brethren and sisters, we welcome you to the temple and hope you will find joy in serving in the house of the Lord this day.

Those of you who are here to receive your own endowment should have been washed, anointed, and clothed in the garment of the holy priesthood. The ordinances of washing, anointing, and clothing in the garment of the holy priesthood, together with the ordaining on behalf of deceased brethren, were performed previously for those deceased persons whom you are representing.

Each of you should have received a new name in connection with this company. If any of you have forgotten the new name or have not received these ordinances as explained, please stand.

[Pause. If someone has forgotten the new name, a temple worker draws the person aside briefly to repeat the portion of the intiatory in which the new name is bestowed.]

Please be alert, attentive, and refrain from whispering during the presentation of the endowment. As you are asked to proceed to the veil, please do so in an orderly manner, row by row, as directed. After passing through the veil into the celestial room, and in other areas in the temple, if you need to communicate, please whisper, thus helping us maintain the quiet reverence that should prevail in the house of the Lord.

We will now proceed with the presentation of the endowment.


SECOND LECTURER: Brethren, you have been washed and pronounced clean, or that through your faithfulness you may become clean, from the blood and sins of this generation. You have been anointed to become hereafter kings and priests unto the most high God, to rule and reign in the house of Israel forever.

Sisters, you have been washed and anointed to become queens and priestesses to your husbands.

Brethren and sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up, and anointed kings and queens, priests and priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such. The realization of these blessings depends upon your faithfulness.

You have had a garment placed upon you, which you were informed represents the garment given to Adam when he was found naked in the garden of Eden, and which is called the garment of the holy priesthood. This you were instructed to wear throughout your life. You were informed that it will be a shield and a protection to you if you are true and faithful to your covenants.

You have had a new name given unto you, which you were told never to divulge, nor forget. This new name is a keyword which you will be required to give at a certain place in the temple today.

The endowment is to prepare you for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. If you proceed and receive your full endowment, you will be required to take upon yourselves sacred obligations, the violation of which will bring upon you the judgments of God, for God will not be mocked.
If any of you desire to withdraw rather than accept these obligations of your own free will and choice, you may now make it known by raising your hand.


Brethren and sisters, as you sit here, you will hear the voices of three persons, who represent Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael. Elohim will command Jehovah and Michael to go down and organize a world. The work of the six creative periods will be represented. They will organize man in their own likeness and image, male and female. This, however, is simply figurative, so far as the man and the woman are concerned.



  1. The new name is used in the Garden Room portion of the rite, in connection with the first token of the Aaronic priesthood. Immediately before administering that token, temple workers will again ask if anyone has forgotten the new name. Also, during the dialogue at the veil, a temple worker will be on hand to coach the initiate if he or she has forgotten any of the necessary names, tokens, or formulas.

  2. In the 1990 revision, this sentence was replaced with the famous definition of the endowment given by Brigham Young on the occasion of the laying of the Salt Lake Temple cornerstone in 1853: "Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the house of the Lord which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the keywords, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation . . . " (see Journal of Discourses 2:31).

  3. The meaning of this last sentence is not at all clear, since Latter-day Saints have held since the 1840s that human beings are literally created in God's image. Perhaps the statement was meant to indicate that the story about Eve being created from Adam's rib is figurative. In any case, this statement was removed in the 1990 revision.

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