LDS Church Makes Changes to Endowment Ceremony in a Move Towards Gender Equality

Hugh Millward is licensed under CC BY-2.0

Church attendees were greeted with policy changes in the first LDS services of 2019.

The faithful among The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who visited the temple last Thursday were pleasantly surprised with a number of significant changes in the ceremonies. The attendees were supportive of the revisions, describing them as a step towards empowering women. Mother Eve was given more substance, and the LDS Church tome has more inclusive language and increased gender equity. On January 3, the First Presidency issued a standard statement, explaining that many alterations like these have been done in the past.

The LDS Church has not made a statement detailing the changes, rather, they said generally that ceremonies have been adjusted from time to time and will continue to evolve, “as directed by the Lord to His servants.” The release also declared, “A dedicated temple is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Its ordinances are sacred and are not discussed outside a holy temple.”

Attendees described some of the changes to the media, saying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has altered a few important elements like the promise of a woman to hearken to her husband as the latter hearken directly to the Lord. The function of men as intermediaries between women and their Temple God is now abolished. The new rules have also expanded Eve’s role. She had no dialogue following her expulsion from the Garden of Eden. She now has her own voice and speaks more than Satan himself. The church has also allowed both covenanting women and men to serve God, with identical promises and not covenanting separately with marginally different wording.

According to those who went through the changes, the list of edited rules includes simplification of the ritual clothing and its use. The time taken to complete ceremonies has also been reduced with the elimination of repetitive language.

The LDS Church now is also more in tune with gender equality. Neutral language would be used from now on during the sealing ceremony, the time where the groom and the bride apparently make identical promises to one another.

Women members of the LDS Church are naturally happy with the elimination of a number of sexist elements. A number of women particularly had an issue with the church’s “endowment” ritual which is a re-enactment of the Genesis happenings, where Eve doesn’t speak with Adam after the couple’s expulsion from Eden.

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