Religious rituals are always strange. (Really, how could they not be, when considered objectively?!?) But these secret Mormon rituals are particularly creepifying to me.
Former Mormon Ash Ryan said the following about it on Facebook:
Every person considering voting for Mitt Romney should watch this first.
The endowment ceremony is something EVERY Mormon must do before they go on a mission (which Mormon boys are required to do, at the age of 18 as of earlier this month) or get married (which they do as soon as possible after returning from their mission, or, if a girl doesn’t serve a mission, right out of high school as soon as they can find a returned missionary to marry), usually at the age of 18 or 19. They continue to do it regularly to renew their oaths for the rest of their lives. I’ve done it myself (and shortly thereafter got the hell out). Mitt Romney has certainly done it many hundreds of times as part of his priesthood duties as a bishop, when he would have went through with every departing missionary from his ward during their first time and with every couple getting married, among many other occasions.
And this video, while entirely accurate, doesn’t even come close to capturing the full horror of the experience. It leaves out a lot of the creepiest parts, such as the oath of secrecy in which you swear not to reveal anything that’s going to take place (before you even know what it is) outside of the temple, on penalty of a gruesome death (the oath includes hand gestures simulating having your throat cut, and used to also include gestures simulating disembowelment), and the “anointing of the loins” (I’m not making that up).
But it does include the most important point for present purposes, namely the oath to “consecrate…everything with which the Lord has blessed you, or with which He may bless you, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, for the building up of the Kingdom of God on the Earth, and for the establishment of Zion,” noting that this refers “to the Mormon belief that civil government will be replaced by a religious government administered by Mormons…viewed by many as a threat to the separation of church and state.”