Many more people have added quotes about their first experience in the temple ceremony, here are their quotes:
I can understand the frustration and anger over this issue. I was shocked, too, as I took out my endowments before my mission eight years ago. Having all my family and close ward members at the temple as I was invited to enter this secret combination of signs and tokens was not what I expected, and yet, at the time, I was so pressured to accept and embrace this new level of church committment that I conviced myself that this had to be the real deal. I do feel angry at times, too, when I look back and see how much social pressure I was under and how many questions I buried within myself because I felt like I would be rocking the boat if I did anything but faithfully accept all that I was given. I, too, wish that I was stronger at the time to take a stand for myself, but I such decisions take maturity and time. I'm just glad that I'm where I am today. I'm sure we all are. There are many moments when I feel angry towards the church, but I try to concentrate on the present and be thankful that I am a better person today. I can't change what happened before, but I can certainly live my life now and be grateful for what I do have.
Did any of you take the temple prep class? I did and it prepped me for.... NOTHING! WTF? And I thought when I went to the temple I would be much more in tune with the spirit and many of my questions would be answered. Instead, like most of you, I was embarassed, confused, and even horrified. My mother, who kept pushing me to finally go to the temple (I was 40 I think, and married to a nevermo), is such a level headed, intelligent person. And here she was dressed in a funny hat and apron. Beyond weird!!! I still can't wrap my brain around it. And of course I can't talk about it to my family because it's "sacred" (sacred my ass - silly is more like it).
Actually, I also have to complement the boys at the COB. They pulled it off! They instituted a incredibly strange, icky ceremony and called it sacred and told members that they should never discuss it (outside the temple and you really can't talk inside the temple). And if you do have questions and issues like we all have - if you want to go to "heaven" you shut-up and go to the temple. Also, even if cog-dis. sets in, you pretend that you are having a spiritual experience so you fit in. And sometimes you can even talk yourself into thinking it is spiritual - for a little while anyway.
All I can really say now is YUCK !--------------------------
Yeah, I think they intentionally have us go to the temple right before our mission. We already have a two year commitment and a ton of social pressure. The perfect time to throw in a crazy ceremony without any worry that we'll have the balls to back out.
I went about three days before I got on the plane to Brazil for my mission. I'm already a pretty quiet guy, but after the endowment, I said almost nothing. I was in some sort of confused stupor. My older brother had given me a small warning, but no one else had mentioned anything. Even afterward no one really seemed to care that it bugged the crap out of me. No one told me that it was weird for everyone.
I personally have a mission. I want to tell all my good friends who are still members that the temple is staight up wacked. My brother is planning on getting married in the temple this year. I'm going to give him the warning I never got. I want to warn every girl who plans to get married in the temple but doesn't know what is in there.
I know I'll have to be careful to not come off as an unbelievable anti-mormon, but everyone deserves to have some idea of what they are getting themselves into before they go to the temple. People can ask me to be quiet about other aspects of the church that I don't like. I respect that people can believe how they want. But I will not be quiet about the temple. I think it causes a lot more pain and discomfort than it does good.
Lots of memories, but the first one that came to mind was sitting separated from my husband (which irritated the hell out of me) and listening to this whole thing - the death threats, the super-dramatic asides from Satan - and trying desperately to find the sacred spirit in there. The temple was my last hope, the one place I was absolutely sure to feel SOMETHING. Instead what wasn't bizarre was just silly. I must have had quite a look on my face because my husband, who had gone through as a missionary, said something about it in the Celestial Room and, afraid to admit that once again God hadn't spoken to me (because, natch, it was all my fault) I just said I had been concentrating really hard so I wouldn't miss anything.
One other small memory of other times I went - being sure that some part of the whole kit was going to come loose at the wrong time and fall off. Surely God smites you if your apron ribbons slip after Satan done warned you about nekkidness.
--------------------------Before I went I attended a temple prep class. (Totally useless). (I was 18, btw) One of my amazing wonderful leaders who I still love inspite of her being a total TBM told me a few weeks before I went that she herself didn't like going and hadn't been in 5 years b/c she thought it was weird and didn't like to stand up and sit down over and over.
That is what I had to go off of when I went for the first time. My first time was the night before my temple wedding. The 2nd time was the next day right before my temple wedding - we did a session and went straight into the sealing room - I was in my wedding dress.
Honestly, I wish I could remember more about both days, but I guess I've blocked it all out. Both times I just thought that it was totally bat shit crazy, but that *I* must just not be righteous enough and that was why I wouldn't allow myself to love it.
I never liked it though. Not for a second. There wasn't any moment ever that I enjoyed going - and I've been more times than I can count.
Honestly, the part I hate the most is the Celestrial room. I know most people like this the best, but I just felt totally uncomfortable having all these weird dressed people walking around in total silence with this "spiritual" look about themselves. Being in a situation like that makes me feel totally vunurable and out of place and totally uncomfortable. All the wispering. All the uber face sympathetic smiles from everyone. And the worst part, the way my DH acted while we were in there. He gets so affectionate and happy and fake and I just can't explain it but I just can't stand it! He, on the other hand, says that he always feels the spirit and feels so full of love in the Celestrial room. I guess that is where the disconnect is b/w him and I. I just want to get the hell out of there and he wants to stay and cuddle.
And this may sound harsh, but I hate the way the temple is decorated. Everyone always says how beautiful it is, and I guess it is if that is your taste, but I always felt that the temple rooms were very starchy, hotel lobby-ish, and gawdy with all the cream and gold. I felt like I was sitting in a rich great-Aunt's stuffy mansion.
I didn't hate the entire ceremony initially b/c I just thought it was so F-ing weird that I couldn't decide if I should hate and loathe it or laugh my ass off at it. The movie was slightly entertaining - especially since I am a friend of a friend of "satan" in the movie - so I would just laugh at that part. I did hate how I coulnd't sit with my DH ever though. And I hated how he had an indention on his forehead the rest of the day.
Okay, I said I hated the Celestrial Room the most - I guess I hated it the 2nd most b/c the #1 thing that I HATED just loathed from the first second I ever learned about it was the damn veil that women wore. I hate things on my head first off - I even felt silly with a bridal veil on at my wedding - but the worst part was having to cover my face up with it. That just got my blood really boiling.
I feel cheated out of a real wedding. I can never get that back. I could renew my vows, but it just isn't the same. I didn't have bridesmaids. I know many who have temple weddings do, but my parents said I didn't need them and that it was a waste of money. They are there to help you get ready for your wedding, and since I was getting married in the temple there was no reason to have any. Almost none of my friends came to my wedding. They were all off to college at the Y. I didn't have a flower girl or a ring bearer or the wedding march music. And worst, I had my reception in our ward building. My mother, bless her, tried to dress it up by renting all these arches and greenery and it did look nice, but there was still a carpeted basketball court on the floor and accordian doors.
Instead of having this big joyous wedding day, I just wanted for it to be over b/c I felt so out of place in the temple. Even the ceremony was a bust. I didn't get to say "I do". They make you say "yes". Everyone in the room was "so full of the spirt" that they were crying. I felt cold hearted b/c I wasn't emotional and I TRIED to make myself cry - at my wedding - over the croqucheted alter. I felt guilty and crappy and not good enough to feel the spirit on my own wedding day!
I haven't been through a session in a few years. I went to a wedding there about 2 years ago, but no session thank god. That is the last time I've gone. My reccomend expired a few months ago and the bishopric asked me when I wanted an interview. I told him I'd call him later to set it up. I'm not calling. He knows I don't have one and I think he knows I don't plan on getting one. Who cares!
Temple weddings: In case you are curious, I don't remember a thing about what was said at my wedding, but I do remember some of what was said at the one I went to 2 years ago. Basically the entire ceremony the guy focused on lecturing the bride and groom about multiplying and replinishing the earth. He went on and on about their ancestors and also future generations and how these are turbulant times and it is our calling and mission to raise up large families. He must have spent 20 minutes talking about them being a baby making factory. Then, when he married them it took less than 20 seconds, and that was it. They got up, hugged everyone, and we all left. So 20 minutes on making babies, and 20 seconds on everything else.
My reaction: W... T... F...
I had had what I would consider my first "cultish" experience at scout camp when I recieved my Order of the Arrow (OA). I remember that there were some secret rituals involved with the OA ritual. Needless to say, my first visit to the temple blew the OA out of the water on the cult-o-meter. All I could think about after my visit to the temple was how bizarre the ritual was, and how different it was from anything that I had experienced in church up to that point.
------------------------I went through the temple the day before I left on my mission. No one from my family was with me as my dad was (recently) dead and my mom had not been endowed. We were converts so since my dad was initially not a member and never very active when he did join, my mom never got to go.
My bishop (who was a pretty good guy) took me. A bunch of the ward members were there to see me through. I was excited and scared as I had no idea what to expect.
Like [another poster], I was thrown by the whole money changers in the temple thing. In context, the Biblical money changers were doing the same thing: selling goods necessary for temple use. In their case it was the various animals for sacrifice, but isn't it the same thing?
I shook that off an then was hit with the whole let's get your clothes off and put this open-sided shield on you. I have what I jokingly call a "healthy body shame" so I was thrown for a loop by that. But I knew it had to be all right. This was the pinnacle ordinance wasn't it? The garments weirded me out too. I had never seen them before.
The session itself was unremarkable, except for the fact that I did sort of hope to see Eve totally naked which made me feel guilty. Then midway through the session, I remembered an unconfessed sin (I had "borrowed" club money from a school club I was in charge of and never paid it back). I didn't confess it because I didn't remember doing it, but I was filled with dread and guilt. I wanted to die. It only got worse when I got to the MTC, but that's another story.
Once we got all the gear on, I couldn't get the image of Monty Python's John Cleese wearing it doing his silly walk. That brought on another surge of guilt. I shouldn't make light of sacred things. But I couldn't get the image out of my head.
When I went through, they still had the throat slashing, disemboweling parts, but strangely, that didn't bother me. I took it that the evil anti-Mormons would be doing these things to me unless I revealed the secrets, not that I would have it done to me for revealing it. The whole secret combinations notion came to me, but I pushed it aside.
To contrast, my wife was very well prepared for her first time by our bishop at the time. He pretty much went through it with here without giving the details. He was really thorough about it. As a consequence, she wasn't bothered at all.
I was a relatively recent convert to the Church and was going on a mission. I flew from Eastern Canada to stay with a family in Bountiful and a couple of days before I was to enter the MTC I went to the Salt Lake Temple for a live session. It was very weird...confusing...I was trying to have it make some sense. Of course to those who have been drinking the Koolaid for a long time, their response is that you need to pray more and fast, read your scriptures and soon the spirit would manifest itself to you. I think as I look back I was interested in doing it because I felt I was doing something "important" (boy was I hooked) and actually would run from the end of one session to get back in line for a new name and the start of another one. I used to get frustrated and was so judgmental when I'd see someone sleeping in during the movie. Now I feel so betrayed and stupid. When you're young...not well educated...and looking for others to help give your life some direction you can sure be susceptible to some stupid stuff. And it troubles me all the more that I raised my children in the Church. And worse yet that as I have come to learn about the Church and have distanced myself from it that my kids have grown closer to it. I suspect that there's a lot of similarity between this and having your buddies or as a young person, the adults that you trust and respect, take you to your first KKK cross burning and initiation. From the untrained eye, it sure looks alot like it.
This discussion reminds me of one time when I forgot the name of the day. Of course they ask if there's anyone who has forgotten it, and suddenly it occured to me that I hadn't been paying anough attention because I had no idea what it was. So they took me out, and the temple worker said (or I THOUGHT he said), "Remember the prophet, Brother."
I looked at him blankly. He said "The prophet Joseph?" And I said, "Ooooh, okay..."
We went back in, did the whole endowment, I thought the name "Joseph" in my head at the right time, then at the veil we got to the part where you have to reveal the New Nom de Plume of the day, and I said, "Joseph..."
The assistant at the veil looked at me and said, You mean Hyrum, don't you?" Suddenly it occurred to me that the temple worker hadn't said "Remember the prophet, Brother," but rather "Remember the prophet's brother..."
For a long time I wondered whether the poor guy I was doing work for and on behalf of would be cheated out of the CK because I had thought the wrong New Name in my head.
One thing that confused me though was how everyone seemed to know the secret name but me! I hadn't learned yet that the name is the same for everyone on a given day.