Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?


I'm curious if anyone here experience the washing and annointing before 1990, did you really have to do that fully naked? What was your experience? What were your thoughts? Were you shocked? prepared?

I went through the temple in the early 90's so I missed the 'good' stuff. I still found the washing and annointing very uncomfortable. I was asked to remove all my clothing and put in this poncho. I did it proxy once after that and it was even worse, the lady who was officiating (if that is the word) was someone I knew, she kept talkig to me about other things. I just wanted to get that over with, I thik I did 10 names. I never went again.

I remember being a convert and hearing an announcement for members to fill in a survey in he late 80's. What prompted that survey? Was temple attendance low? Or were people, especially women, complaining about how uncomfortable it was.

Laban's Head forgot her password
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I went through in 1965.

I think I was pretty much like deer in the headlights during the whole thing and pretty much shell-scocked by the end. Didn't like it then and never liked it ever.

As to the W&A -- I was naked under a 'shield' which was like a long white poncho. The officiator (female) would reach in from the sides to touch on or near the designated parts of the body. I remember feeling happy that my sins were forgivin and I was 'clean', but at the same time, the experience seemed very weird and strange.

And that set an appropriate tone for the weirdness to follow as I went throught the whole endowment deal complete with throat-slitting and dis-embowellment.

Most decidedly, NOT, a good day.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I went through in 1976 and yes I was naked with a poncho over me. It was very uncomfortable with some old guy touching my naked body all over and I hated it. After my mish when I was still active and going all the time the one thing I NEVER did was proxy washings and annointings because I was NOT going to subject myself to that ever again.
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I went through in 2000 and I was naked with a poncho over me with open sides.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I got my endowment in 1952 in the Idaho Falls temple, on my wedding day.

When entering the booth, the poncho (shield) was removed and hung on a hook along with the white towel which I had brought, and the garment. I stood completely naked for the washing, which was done with a small hose of running water. A drain was in the floor for the run-off. After towelling off I got the anointing. The officiator ladled some oil from a horn-shaped container on the wall into the palm of his hand, and he proceeded to anoint me. I used the towel again to wipe off the excess.

The garment was placed on me, the poncho was replaced, and I went back to the locker to dress.

It didn't bother me; I was a faithful Mormon.

There was a story in our family about my great-grandfather, who never went back to the temple after his first experience. He was so embarrassed by having to walk naked from the locker to the washing booth that he refused to go back. From that I gather that the poncho was not yet in use.

CA girl
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
Ditto. 1990 and I did the naked with a poncho over me with open sides. Some old lady would anoint different areas with water, then oil, touching each with her fingers. This wasn't something where she'd drip water or oil on you, like they pour oil on your head during a blessing. She actually dipped her fingertips in water. then oi and stroked it onto my body. It's been so long though, I can't remember where all the anointing areas were.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I went through in 2004, and I also was naked under a poncho which was wide open on both sides, i made sure to hold the sides closed. I went through for myself, then went back once to do it for the dead. One of the men, the guy who would reach into the poncho, grazed my personal area, it was weird. He didn't think much of it, didn't even apologize, i wouldn't be surprised if he did it on purpose.
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I'm in shock at that scenario

most Mo's would never believe this stuff today..

thanks for the update.. now I know why my dad never wanted
to talk about it. He was about the same time.

nomo moses
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
My first time was in 1982 in Idaho Falls. Wore the open sided poncho only for washing & annointing. I thought it was a little weird, but it all was rushed so much that I didn't get much chance to think about it. I had misplaced my recommend, so by the time I found it most of the new initiates had already had a meeting with the temple president, done the initiatory, and were waiting for the session. Me and a guy from Ashton arrived late. I remember thinking I couldn't find the recommend because God didn't think I was worthy.

I was disfellowshiped prior to the changes in the temple ceremony. I really thought it was screwed up that they had changed the ceremony when I got my membership back.

The last year I was a member, I did initiatory work weekly. I was trying to get a testimony back and preferred that over the endowment session. Sitting in one place hurts my back.

I have posted before that my experience the last time doing initiatory, I kept spacing off on the wallpaper and seeing phallic symbols. I decided then I really was not into it and it wasn't worth it anymore.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I am also shocked.

Thank you for sharing this Richard. Good for your great grand father to stop attending the temple. Maybe we owe it to him that we got a poncho. I wonder when the poncho/shield was not taken off anymore.

Tabula Rasa
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I did it with a "shield" which wasa large poncho like thing like a sheet with a hole in the top for my head. The sides were totally open and the dude rubbed oil on my chest and between my belly button and johnson.

When done, they helped me put on one of those old-school garments with ties and and a drop poop shoot.


Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I went in 1972. I can barely remember anything about the temple ceremony. I had just turned 18, and felt like I was visiting an old peoples home.

The washing an anointing was humiliating. The temple ceremony seemed crazy to me. I remember thinking the penalties didn't apply
to me, because nobody had told me beforehand what I was going to be asked to promise. I remember wondering if there was somebody with calling of throat slitter, because I wasn't going to do that to myself. I started to laugh, and the lady next to me gave me the evil eye. I also thought dividing the men and women from each other was too much like kindergarten. It was my wedding day. I thought the ceremony was rather meaningless. This is what they make such a big deal out of? I wished for a "real" wedding. I was ticked they wouldn't let me wear my veil. It was so much better looking than the rental get up.
For the life of me I couldn't figure out why my parents insisted on making every vacation destination about going to the temple. I can't think of a better way to ruin your vacation. It was about 20 years before I went back.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I was possibly the most un-prepared initiate in 1979.

There were no temple prep classes then. My EQP drove to the temple and talked a little bit about what was going to happen.

Because nobody told me to, I didn't have my first pair of garmies, white pants or tie. We had to get me geared up.

The temple pres got some of us in a room and quizzed me in particular about the oath & covenant of the priesthood. Another thing I wasn't prepped for.

So after all of that, the poncho and rubdown just became part of the confusion. It was embarassing and weird, setting the stage for the weirdness to follow. I never did any proxy initiations.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
Went in 1978. Thought the whole thing was strange (and I mean everything). As a missionary in the LTM (MTC for your younger folks), I hated the old men with their nasty breath, lubing me up. On one particular day, I wanted to tell the old fart to stay a little further from my damn loins, that there are few folks I like to have do that, and he was not one of them.

All Initiatories pre-2005 were naked under the shield
It was a little weird for me. You are totally nude except for this poncho that is open on the sides. I can't imagine what it was like for early LDS who stood fully nude, no shield in bath tubs in the SLC temple and were literally washed and annointed by a temple worker. That's hardcore.

I went through in 1988 and saw the penalties, five points of fellowship, and masonic praying though too. So it was all pretty odd if viewed from a non-LDS perspective.

They did away with the naked touching / poncho thing in Jan 2005.
That's a pretty short memory for Mormons who now deny that it ever happened. I'd be interested to know when they changed the washing & anointing that Richard Packham went through in 1952. I couldn't find anything about it in David John Buerger's book "The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship."

I think wearing the poncho while someone reaches inside of it to put his hand near your genitals might even be creepier than standing there totally naked. The only forewarning I got about the experience in 1987 after my entire growing up years in Mormonism was "Here, take off all your clothes, put on this shield and go over to that white curtain." The guy's hand kept creeping closer and closer to my penis as he went through the ordinance, and then -- surprise! -- he didn't grope me after all. I can't believe no one has sued them over it.

In the early days, naked participants sat in huge communal tubs.
I'm not kidding.

SpongeBob SquareGarments
Once was enough for me
Mid 90s. Naked under a poncho with someone sticking their hands on the open sides. I was very creeped out by it and never did washings again.

I would think that washings would fall way behind baptisms and even endowments as few people seem to want to repeat the uncomfortable washings.

anon for this
Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
I remember in the movie September dawn when they did the W and A they had the kid standing in a wooden tub with the ole pervs washed him down and oiled him up.

me thinks the scenario was accurate for the times an someone did their research.
I'm going to ask my dad about it. He went in 47-48'

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
1990 - Yep. Nekkid as a jaybird! Except for the poncho thingy, which flapped around like a sheet in the wind when you walked. It was very important to remember to HOLD THOSE SIDES TOGETHER!!

I once traumatized a little Hispanic lady visiting the temple for the first time. I went racing past her, through the locker room for the restroom, forgetting to hold onto the flippin' shield. I was 7 months pregnant with a gigantic baby who was sitting right on my bladder, and I had to *peeeeee*.

As I swooshed by her, the Hispanic sister started yelling at me. Now I don't speak Spanish but if I did, my translation would go something like: "Put some clothes on you freak! Don't you know you are in the HOUSE OF THE LORD?!!

Yeesh, I was just trying to avoid tinkling all over the Lard's one true carpet. Oh, and uh . . . .

Sister? Yer next.



Oh, the giggle fits, Shannon!
My side hasn't heaved from laughing this much since the last time I read your rush to pee story.

Thanks for reminding me. I needed that.

Oh yeah!
No wonder my TBM sister said she'd go with me. She knew I'd freak out if I went alone!

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
So they didn't change the washing and annointings after 1990? Huh?

What a nicely written description. I like the part about "old people's home." lol
I feel like I was there.

Re: Did you go through Washing and Annointing before 1990?
1976 Provo Temple two days before entering the MTC. First surprise of the day was visiting the temple rental counter to pick up the required attire of the day. What? They use cash registers in The House of the Lord????? Back then you had to rent a one piece old style garment (long sleeves to wrist , ankle length legs, button closed back door) because they still didn’t allow the shorter (Short sleeves, knee length) one piece “street wear” garments while participating in the endowment session.

Down to the “gents” locker we went. Ok, now get undressed, ie buck naked and the put on “The Shield” a heavy weight cotton/canvas open sided one-size fits all poncho thing that literally “flapped in the breeze” while walking to the initiatory area. There was one extremely “large” guy that need about 4 or 5 of those Shields because the one he was wearing wasn’t covering up much up.

At booth #1, Old Guy invtes you in. Go inside and sit yourself down to get “washed”. Oh, make sure your butt is sitting on the shield because those old guys about have a heart attack if your bare ass touches the bench. Old guy in booth #1 dips hand in water rubs your forehead, sticks hand into side of shield runs hand across left breast then area between navel and family package.

Ok, all washed, exit booth #1 and wait for old guy in booth #2 to open up curtain to booth #2 and invite you in. Sit yourself down remembering to make sure your ass is on your Shield because old guy in last booth yelled at you when your naked butt touched bench in Booth #1. Old Guy #2, dips hand into oil vessel hanging on wall. Rubs oil across forehead, sticks hand into side of shield and rubs oil across left breast and then old man’s very shaky hand “anoints” area between navel and family package and slips much lower than when Old Guy #1 used water. Then you’re “dressed” in the garment, ie old style long johns. Presto Change-o, all washed and anointed.

Carol Y.
Yes, in 1970. I was so young and naive, and had no clue that it was abusive.

Do you know when this changed?
From your experience to the poncho? My parents got married in 1952. My dad never went back until my sister got married in 1977. I CANNOT imagine my mother going through this W&A and not run for the hills.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"