Some sources state that the temple endowment ceremony was restored. However, Doctrine and Covenants 124:40-41 (if I am interpreting it correctly) states that the temple endowment ceremony was hidden from before the foundation of the world. How was it restored if it had been hidden from before the foundation of the world? Is the claim that it was restored a common misunderstanding or am I the one misunderstanding D&C? Thanks for taking the time.
Let’s take a look at the verses a little closer.
40 And verily I say unto you, let this house be built unto my name, that I may reveal mine ordinances therein unto my people;
41 For I deign to reveal unto my church things which have been kept hid from before the foundation of the world, things that pertain to the dispensation of the fulness of times. D&C 124:40-41 (emphasis added)
There are several ways to read this that makes this passage coherent in my mind. Any one or all of them could be true.
1. Hidden from whom?
If this is to imply that such ordinances were hidden from all mankind forever, then you’re right. It would not be considered “restored” when it was never here in the first place.
Here is a different reading: When we have our ceremonies, we’re supposed to hold the ceremony sacred and not reveal them to anyone. So, they were kept hidden “from the rest of the world” and shown “not unto any except them that believe.” (Moses 1:42) So, they were kept hidden… from those who did not believe.
2. There is nothing here that states the “ordinances” in v. 40 refer to endowments.
Remember that there are MANY ordinances performed in the temples of the Lord. The endowment is only one of them. It is possible that there are other ceremonies that are specifically for this dispensation only. And perhaps those are still hid from the world.
3. In fact, there is nothing that necessitates the interpretation of the phrase “things which have been kept hid” as referring to any actual ceremony. The purpose of the temple is to make covenants. And we do that for both the living and the dead. But when we make sincere covenants through the authorized use of the priesthood, we are given a path to realize certain blessings. And many blessings we have today were not had in ancient times. But many of us don’t make use of that path. So, such “things which have been kept hid” are never realized by most who attend the temple.
I know and do testify that there are many more blessings found in truly worshiping in the temple. Things are revealed to us as we make use of the tools that the Lord gives us. But so often, we just don’t live up to our privileges as the covenant people of the Lord. I know that too often, I do not.
I hope all of us make an increased effort to learn what those privileges are and live up to them.