Recovery Board  : RfM
Recovery from Mormonism (RfM) discussion forum. 
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Posted by: kimball ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 03:29PM

This is the definition of the word "covenant" from the mormon Bible Dictionary:

"Covenant. Sometimes denotes an agreement between persons (1 Sam. 23:18) or nations (1 Sam. 11:1); more often between God and man; but in this latter case it is important to notice that the two parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. God in his good pleasure fixes the terms, which man accepts..."

Thus, all the covenants I ever made in the temple are essentially two-way agreements between me and God. God set the terms, and God promised me certain things in return for my obedience. We made a mutual agreement, and as such, if either party fails in their portion of the covenant, then the other is under no further obligation to fulfill their portion.

Many mormons, and even some ex-mormons, are sticklers in that they say that they will absolutely keep all promises they have made, even if they stop agreeing with them. They say it is a matter of integrity and honesty. Not true - in the case of temple covenants it is clearly a matter of two parties fulfilling their end of an agreement. If, then, God can not demonstrate that he agreed to abide by his side of the covenant, does not abide by it, or if he never existed in the first place to make such an agreement, then I am under no obligation to fulfill my side of the covenant, and I can break it while keeping my integrity intact.

If it was termed as an "oath" or a "promise" then things might be different.


Covenant: "I, (think of the new name), covenant before God, angels and these witnesses that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name and sign."
Response: The First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood is given by clasping the right hands and placing the joint of the thumb directly over the first knuckle of the hand. The name of this token is the New Name that you received in the temple. The sign is made by bringing the right arm to the square; the palm of the hand to the front, the fingers close together, and the thumb extended.

Covenant: "I, (think of the first given name), solemnly covenant, before God, angels, and these witnesses that I will never reveal the second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name and sign."
Response: This token is given by clasping the right hands and placing the joint of the thumb between the first and second knuckles of the hand. The name of this token is your own first given name. The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front of you, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square.

Covenant: "I covenant in the name of the Son that I will never reveal the first token of the Melchizedek Priesthood or sign of the nail, with its accompanying name and sign."
Response: This token is received by bringing the right hand into this position. The hand vertical, the fingers close together, and the thumb extended, and the person giving the token placing the tip of the forefinger of his right hand in the center of the palm, and the thumb opposite on the back of the hand of the one receiving it. The name of this token is "The Son", meaning the Son of God. The sign is made by bringing the left hand in front of you with the hand in cupping shape, the left arm forming a square, the right hand is also brought forward, the palm down, the fingers close together, thumb extended.

Covenant: "You will be under the same sacred obligation in connection with (the second token of the Melchizedek priesthood with its accompanying sign) as you are with the other tokens and signs of the holy priesthood which you have received in the temple this day." (whether you agree to it or not)
Answer: This token is given by clasping the right hands interlocking the little finger, and placing the tip of the forefinger on the center of the wrist. The name of this token is "Health in the navel, marrow in the bones, strength in the loins and in the sinews, power in the priesthood be upon me and upon my posterity through all generations of time and throughout all eternity." The sign is made by raising both hands high above the head, and while lowering the hands repeating aloud the words: 'Oh God, hear the words of my mouth, Oh God, hear the words of my mouth, Oh God, hear the words of my mouth."

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: thinker ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 03:37PM

Kimball, it's been so long since I've heard those words and now I remember how they creeped me out. Where did you find those, or do you have them memorized?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: kimball ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 05:16PM

I found the wording at this website:

http://www.vscoc.org/Mormonism/mormon.html

However, it is the pre-1990 wording. I had to use my own memory to catch the changes. I also supplemented with this website, run by an active mormon who tells the entire current ceremony while only leaving out the parts expressly forbidden through covenant:

http://www.ldsendowment.org/1990intro.html

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: ronas ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 03:48PM

So you're saying if two people make an agreement and one of them is imaginary that the real person isn't bound to that agreement?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: kimball ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 03:58PM

Oh dang, you're right. The definition didn't specifically state that neither of the parties can be imaginary, or that the promised fulfillment by one party can not be imagined. My integrity is lost.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: kimball ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 04:01PM

wait, no, I'm safe. I no longer imagine them.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: ronas ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 04:10PM

I'm imagining you imagining them so I think you are still bound...

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Jesus Smith ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 05:13PM

ronas Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So you're saying if two people make an agreement
> and one of them is imaginary that the real person
> isn't bound to that agreement?

It also works if I had imaginary fingers crossed the entire time I was in the temple. And no one can prove I didn't, since imaginary is the same as invisible.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 05:01PM

While I was at my TBM best I became very ill with a chronic disease of "sinew". It is incurable. God didn't live up to his side of the bargain.

The good news is my naval and bone marrow are just fine.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Misfit ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 05:53PM

I got a hernia while I was on my mission! So much for strength in the loins!

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: ginger ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 06:21PM

So you're saying it's hocus pocus?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: RPackham ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 06:25PM

A covenant is a contract, based on mutual promises and on the existence of certain facts understood and accepted by both parties. I promise to do this if you promise to do that. Both legally and morally, if one party doesn't keep his part of the bargain, or if it should turn out that the basic facts are not as both parties assumed, the other party is not required to perform. To claim otherwise would be absurd.

The covenants made in the Mormon temple are similar. The Mormon covenants to do certain things (obey, sacrifice, be chaste, give everything to the church if asked, etc.) and to refrain from doing certain things (revealing the secret handshakes, names, and other details of the ritual). The Mormon makes these covenants after having been told that the underlying facts are:

the "other party" to the covenants is God;
God wants the Mormon to make these covenants;
God will bless the Mormon in many wonderful ways if the Mormon makes the covenants and keeps his part of the bargain;
there is no other way to obtain those blessings from God, other than making those covenants.

Suppose I tell you that I have a million dollars to give away, and I promise to give you that million if you promise to be my servant for a year. And I want our little bargain to be our secret (I don't want to have to pay Social Security and workers' comp insurance.) You agree, and we shake hands, and call it a "solemn covenant." But after just a week, you learn that I don't have any money at all, let alone a million dollars. Do you feel obligated to continue working for me for the rest of the year? And do you feel obligated (remember: you promised not to tell!) to keep the secret? Or would you feel justified in going to the authorities?

Covenants are also made during a marriage ceremony. If the couple later divorces, would you feel that the wife was still morally bound to love, honor and obey, especially if it was acts of the husband that caused the divorce?

If I had been initiated into a voodoo cult, during which I made an oath to the voodoo god Bukuluku, would you feel I had acted immorally if you found I had not kept the oath I made to Bukuluku? Would you feel that it would have been wrong if one of the Gadianton robbers (Helaman 6) decided that he was going to leave the band because it was evil, and violated the oath of secrecy he had made to the robber band?

The covenants made by Mormons in the temple are obtained under false pretenses. God has nothing to do with them. They are no more binding, either legally or morally, than the mumbo-jumbo of fraternity initiation rituals.

And it would certainly be absurd to expect someone who no longer believes in Mormonism, who is convinced that the temple covenants are not from God and that God is not going to do what the Mormons promised he would do, to feel bound by those covenants in any way. (The one exception might be the covenant of chastity, if made at the same time to a spouse.)

It is usually Mormons who are indignant that ex-Mormons have "broken their solemn covenants," usually the covenant of secrecy. Nobody else should care. How absurd it would be to assert that the ex-Mormon was still bound, because of his "solemn covenant," to continue to wear the garments, to obey the church leaders, to devote all his time and assets to the church, after he no longer believes (all of these are "covenants" made by Mormons in the temple). And yet the covenant of secrecy is no different.

Nobody but the Mormons considers the Mormon temple ritual to be so sacred that nobody should talk about it or tell what they know about it. The irony is that it is not secret, and it has not been secret since Nauvoo days. Anybody who wants to find out what goes on in a Mormon temple has been able to get that information for a hundred and fifty years, with just a little digging in libraries (and now, by using the Internet). It is only those faithful Mormons who have not yet been through the temple who are in the dark. That being the case, why should any non-Mormon feel that the subject of Mormon temples is off-limits, just because it is "sacred to Mormons"? Should we feel any obligation not to eat beef, since the Hindus consider the cow to be sacred? Or should we feel it is immoral for an anthropoligist in Africa to reveal to the world the sacred rites of an African tribe? Should we feel that a member of the Mafia was being immoral by telling the police the secrets of his famiglia and his capo, because he took an oath not to tell?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: reasonabledoubt ( )
Date: February 20, 2012 06:48PM

What's scary is that I was totally unphased by any of this when I went through it in '89.

I remember sitting in an orientation meeting inside the temple before getting my endowments, never even having seen the temple garb yet. Some people walked by in the hallway in the full regalia and I leaned over and asked my dad "Do they work in the bakery here?" lol

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: yin ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 12:26AM

The covenants are made under circumstances that could be considered manipulative. You are not allowed to know what the covenants are beforehand. They are supposed to be a complete surprise. That seems like fishy circumstances to be making covenants under in the first place.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 12:28AM

+1

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: upsidedown ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 01:24AM

It is a null and void contract!!!!

Here is why:
It is called making a contract under duress. The person who has the advantage of knowing what the wording will be ahead of time, what the penalty will be ahead of time, and what the payment(blessing from god?) will be ahead of time is at an unfair advantage.

It is even more invalid if there is undue fear and pressure put on the other party in an agreement/contract if the other party to the contract is surrounded by the supporters or group of other contract enforcers. Imagine a gang surrounding a person and asking them to enter a contract where the person is to pay the gang money and wash their cars and clean their toilets for no pay....no salary.....nothing but the gang's promise not to murder the person. (think Danites and fiscal control of Utah).

It is even more invalid if the person who is being bullied into making said covenants in a contract is taken to a secret building and asked to strip naked and allow a stranger to touch their body. Then dress in a costume that the person has never seen before and perform in rituals where they are told they will either be killed or commit suicide.

None of this would EVER be considered a fair playing field under which two adults consented to enter into a legal and binding contract.

It's total manipulation and bullying. Threats and intimidation. Plain and simple .....the contract is illegal!!!!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/21/2012 01:24AM by upsidedown.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Phantom Shadow ( )
Date: February 21, 2012 10:11AM

Nothing binding there. Contracts generally require mutual assent to be valid. Contracts made under fraud or duress are void.

Let the church take "apostates" to court to enforce these temple covenants. Ha!

Options: ReplyQuote
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In


Screen Name: 
Subject: 
Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
       **   *******    *******   ********    *******  
       **  **     **  **     **  **     **  **     ** 
       **         **         **  **     **  **        
       **   *******    *******   **     **  ********  
 **    **         **         **  **     **  **     ** 
 **    **  **     **  **     **  **     **  **     ** 
  ******    *******    *******   ********    *******