The Mormon Endowment is a worship session at a Mormon temple. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (casually called the Mormon Church) has about 135 temples worldwide, and is building many more. The purpose of building temples, easily accessible to the membership, is so that church members may be able to attend repeatedly.
The Mormon endowment session takes about 90 minutes and is always the same. Temple patrons arrive in Sunday best dress and change into white clothing to participate in the endowment ceremony. Each temple-worthy person goes through one endowment session for him- or herself and from then on in behalf of a deceased ancestor. The session takes place in a beautiful room with auditorium seating. Much of the session is devoted to instruction. The instruction is centered on the Plan of Salvation. A film is shown about the creation and God’s dealings with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is the center of the Plan of Salvation, and that God revealed to Adam that Jesus Christ would be the Savior of the world. In turn, Adam taught his children about Christ and was the first in a long line of prophets who taught the Plan of Salvation.
In the endowment session, patrons learn what God expects of us as followers of Jesus Christ. They also covenant to follow Christ and to keep His commandments. These covenants, if kept, bring promised blessings from God. As such, they are called ordinances. These are “higher ordinances,” while baptism is considered a foundational or beginning ordinance. At baptism one is cleansed from sin, and takes upon him- or herself the name of Christ. Higher ordinances continue with that idea, and are entered into by people who desire to consecrate themselves to Christ’s service.
It may sound boring that the Mormon endowment session is always the same. Patrons are counseled to stay awake and alert during the session. With spiritual preparation and prayer, the patron may notice something different each time, and through personal revelation, gain a new awareness of the principles of heaven. The temple is the House of God, and a place full of peace and light. By attending, patrons may receive answers to their personal prayers and personal revelation meant specifically for them to help them to meet the challenges of life. “Endowment” means gift, and the Mormon endowment provides empowerment through the grace of Christ to help us through this difficult sojourn in mortality.
At the conclusion of the Mormon endowment session, patrons go into the most beautiful room in the temple, the Celestial Room, which represents the highest kingdom of heaven. There, patrons can meditate and pray, or quietly discussed what they have learned in the temple.