An Endowment


          Recorded in scripture is a pattern to seeing God. When a person has traveled the high road of righteousness, obtained the right to fully claim the blessings of the Atonement, and has been purified by fire, then this pattern will be repeated again in our behalf. Each account of a mortal speaking with God is a little different, but there are also these similarities.

          First, we are show a vision of the workmanship of Jesus Christ’s hands. Moses saw this vision and penned the book of Genesis. Every prophet who records his personal experience with the Lord in any detail includes seeing a sweeping vision of his future ministry, and quite often, of the entire history of the world, sometimes of the whole workmanship of God’s hands. The list is too long to mention them all. All of the Old Testament prophets saw this grand vision: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Abraham and Enoch, to name a few. John the Beloved recorded a portion of his vision in the book of Revelation. Lehi saw and mentioned his vision. Nephi, inspired by his father’s account, saw and recorded parts of his vision in First Nephi. The Brother of Jared saw the vision and wrote what is now the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, purportedly the greatest literary work ever written. Mormon saw our day. Moroni wrote to us with prophetic vision because he saw and knew us intimately. Joseph Smith recorded parts of his vision in Section 76.

            This vision is typified in today’s temple experience. Since the actual endowment event in the presence of the Lord begins with a vision of all, including the creation of the earth, the temple ordinance prefiguring that same event also begins in this way.

            Another consistent element of this divine interview is that we are taught and spiritually edified, given knowledge that always eclipses what can be known by common man. Such knowledge was given to many notables such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, Elijah, John the Baptist. In fact, since there is only one gospel—we may safely surmise that it was given to all of the great patriarchs who entered the divine presence.

            This grand vision is prefigured in this promise:

 7 And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom.

8 Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations.

9 And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught.

10 For by my Spirit will I enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will—yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man. (D&C 76:8-10)

             At some point we will be offered the chance to request some divine gift, which will be our actual endowment. Even though the temple ordinance is called the “endowment”, it would be more correct to say, it is a temple ordinance that teaches of, instructs in the laws governing, and prefigures the actual endowment, which is a celestial gift we personally request of the Lord while in His presence.

Brother John

© June 2011, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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7 Responses to An Endowment

  1. cheyenne brashear says:

    Brother John, I also really enjoyed this post. I have known for awhile that what we call “the endowment” in the temple isn’t the real thing, but an outward ceremonial symbol of what the endowment really is. I feel all of the ordinances are this way. I think the danger that alot of us fall into is we think that because we have received the ordinances,that we automatically receive the promised blessings associated with them.

    You said in this endowment(the real one) that there are common things that everyone experiences when they are brought back into the presence of the Lord; there is another experience that I have wondered about over the years through my studies, and something that was brought up years ago in an institute class that I used to attend.

    This institute teacher was a very spiritual man, and much of what he taught was very similar to the things you have written about in your books. When I started attending his classes, I had already read FTL, but besides what I had read in your book,I had never heard anyone else speak of these kinds of things before.

    There were a few of us that liked to stay after the classes were over, to discuss things that were of great spiritual import and interest to us. After one of these lessons, He discussed with us the accounts written in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7, and 3 Nephi 28:12-16, where it speaks of the apostle Paul and the three nephites being caught up into heaven and seeing and hearing unspeakable things too great for man to utter. He made it sound like this was not an uncommon thing to expect once a person has been sealed up to eternal life and brought back into the presence of the Lord.

    I’m writing about this because I wanted to get your thoughts on this if you feel this is something you can or even want to speak about. I guess what I am wanting to know is whether this is a unique experience even for those who have come back into the presence of Christ, or something common that we can expect once we do come back into His presence? What adds to the intrigue of this kind of experience is that the three nephites who were translated were caught up to see and experience these things, but Paul who received a transfiguration so he could experience these same things wasn’t translated, yet as far as I know, had the same experience as the three nephites. Brother C.

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    • John Pontius says:

      Good question, Brother C.

      Being caught up and seeing unspeakable things is part of the “vision of all” that most prophets record. It is so real to them that they can’t tell whether they are “in the body” or “out of the body”, meaning are they actually there, or just experiencing it as a powerful vision. What makes it “unspeakable” is that they are generally commanded to say nothing about it. “It is not lawful to utter.” Some prophets are allowed to record parts of their experience, and we presently have them as scripture.

      JMP

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    • John Pontius says:

      Brother C,

      As I understand it, this is the pattern of righteousness, one that is repeated unendingly by God. This is the path we are on. If we walk it to its glorious conclusion in this life, we too will experience these things. God is no respector of persons, and does not care about station, class or calling. His laws are eternal and unchanging. Whatever laws brought Enoch into the presence of God, and into the Vision of All, are still in operation today.

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  2. Kelle Richardson says:

    John, I was taught some wonderful things by the spirit while reading this. thanks you so much!

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  3. Jareth. says:

    Brother Pontius i enjoyed this one very much, especially at the end when you mentioned that what is known as the endowment in the temple is not the full power or propensity of its meaning at first. That it is simply the ordinance that teaches you the way to recieve the true endowment, this helps recap something i have already learned in preparation to go to the temple in the future. So many people make the mistake of thinking that the Ordinance itself is the true thing, if only they could feel and see that there is a whole new vision beyond that.
    You said that the ordinance teaches of, instructs in the laws governing and prefigures the actual Endowment itself. This reminds me of Seeking, Asking, and Knocking three keys that must be used in order to obtain light and truth beyond every ordinance. This shadow type of the Ordinance also reminds me of something that the Savior has been teaching me lately in my studies and it concerns the Iron Rod. Like the Ordinance the iron rod must guide us, or teach us of, instruct us of the laws governing and show us the prefigurement of the the True Endowment or what i would compare to the Tree Of Life, since it is the full measure and power of The Saviors Ultimate Love or Charity. Since the Iron Rod is the Word of God or A symbol of Christ himself this makes it all the more beautiful since we must constantly cleave to him, or this Rod of Iron in order to fully be instructed on how to walk purely and straightly to partake of his Ultimate Love in Full.
    He has also been teaching me something else, that there is a particular way in which we all must grasp this iron rod and hold fast to it, a way in which only he and his messengers can teach us as we rise up through the different orders until finally we see him. The Rod of Iron also reminds me of a sceptre , or power in that as we grasp it in the right way, and learn by it concerning the law of the Kingdom of God we also learn along the way our true birthright and our true place as kings and queens within his celestial Glory and Power, we learn as we move toward his Ultimate Atomenment how very special we are to him and he to us, in such a way that we too actually learn how to use the iron rod or demonstrate its power as a king or queen once we have undergone every trial and risen above it all through his power alone.
    The most comforting part of the journey on this straight and narrow path to me is that none of us are alone , we have heavenly messengers who will come to show us the way, we have the power of the spirit to communicate with us to christward, and we have eachother as we learn in holy step with him how to continually grasp with rightous and blessed hands and feet to come eventually into his presence. It comforts me to know that when we all reach a unity in faith that we will all have held fast to that Rod that gave us life, that taught us, instructed us and took us home and by so doing we all with the power of Our Savior will have held fast to this way together in a holy chain of spiritual army and command in so much that darkness is vanquished and Satan and his kindom bruised, and laid beneath our feet. This post has excited something in me to keep studying further on these impressions. i Feel that there is much more to this that i will find out in the future, but when you mentioned that about the Endowment i immediately thought of those things and thought about how excited iam am, and how much i had almost forgotten that part in me that desires so much to see my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this Life, and not only i but all those that i love who have Taken the Journey with me and have held fast together once each of us learn how to totally submit ourselves to all of his will.
    Again thank you for the inspiring posting, it was something i needed to begin pondering again and it helped me recap certain mysteries that iam personally seeking at this time. I look so forward to this future Endowment that you have spoken of and hope that the time is not far off in which i will be able to go and begin recieveing the blessings and mysteries of its Holy Order. Something in me remembers how much i miss the Savior tonight, and it brings peace to my heart and tears to my eyes. Brother Jareth.

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