for a Friend
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Jos. Smith Papyri | Hypocephalus
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Evolution of this site -- 1997
AXIS of FAITH
F A I T H - B A S E D
"When our leaders speak,
the THINKING has been
TOKEN OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD
The First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood is given by clasping
the right hands and placing the joint of the thumb directly over the first
knuckle of the other person's hand.
The name of this token is the New Name that was
received in the washing and anointing ceremony.
The sign is made by bringing the right arm to the square, the palm of the
hand to the front, the fingers close together, and the thumb extended.
The execution of the Penalty was represented by
placing the right thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand down, and by
drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the
hand to the side.
The officiator in the
pre-1990 version, after demonstrating the sign and execution of the penalty,
"I will now explain the covenant and
obligation of secrecy which are associated with this token, its name,
sign and penalty, and which you will be required to take upon
yourselves. If I were receiving my own Endowment today, and had been
given the name of "John" as my New Name, I would repeat in my mind these
words, after making the sign, at the same time representing the
execution of the penalty: I, John, covenant that I will never reveal the
First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign,
and penalty. Rather than do so, I would suffer my life to be taken."
The Officiator demonstrated the execution of the
penalty while saying the last sentence. The company was then instructed to
stand, and while making the sign, recite the oath in unison while executing the
penalty. The present-day version is similar, but without stating or
demonstrating the penalty.
TOKEN OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD
(received with robe on left shoulder)
This Token is given by clasping the right hands
and placing the joint of the thumb between the first and second knuckles of the
The name of this token is one's own first given
name if going through the temple for one's own endowment, or, if going through
for the dead, it is the first given name of the dead person.
The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front, with the hand in
cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised
to the square.
The Execution of the Penalty was represented by
placing the right hand on the left breast, drawing the hand quickly across the
body, and dropping the hands to the sides. The oath was similar to the previous
TOKEN OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD, OR SIGN OF THE NAIL
(with the robe on the right shoulder)
This token is received by bringing the right
hand into this position: the hand vertical, the fingers close together, and
the thumb extended; and the person giving the token placing the tip of the
forefinger of his right hand in the center of the palm, and the thumb
opposite on the back of the hand of the one receiving it. As indicated by
its nickname, it represents the nails in Jesus' palm when he was crucified.
The sign is made by bringing the left hand in
front of you with the hand in cupping shape, the left arm forming a square; the
right hand is also brought forward, the palm down, the fingers close together,
the thumb extended, and the thumb is placed over the left hip. (For a photograph
of two Mormon men in their temple robes making the "first sign of the
Melchizedek priesthood, click
The penalty was represented by drawing the thumb quickly across the body and
dropping the hands to the sides. The oath is similar to the previous oaths.
The name of this token is "the Son", meaning the Son of God.
TOKEN OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD,
THE PATRIARCHAL GRIP, OR SURE SIGN OF THE NAIL
This token is given by clasping the
right hands, interlocking the little fingers, and placing the tip of the
forefinger upon the center of the wrist. The thumbs should be parallel with
The sign is made
by raising both hands high above the head, and while lowering the hands three
times repeating aloud the words:
The hands are
lowered in three distinct movements, one move for each word.  Pay--hands
above head,  Lay--both arms dropped to the square,  Ale--both hands
lowered to the height of chest.
The words spoken when giving the sign of this token are said to
mean "Oh God, hear the words of my mouth!" Since 1990, the original name has
been abandoned in favor of the translation. The reason for the change may be
that too many people heard the name as "Pale Ale Ale," and, since alcoholic
beverages are strictly forbidden in Mormonism, there was confusion.
The name is not given at the time the token is
given, but is withheld until the patron is at the veil, at the very end of the
endowment (see below).
No specific penalty
was given to accompany this sign, but the obligation of secrecy was said to
be the same as for the other signs and tokens which had specifically stated
MORMON TEMPLES AND
TEMPLE RITUALS by Richard Packham
A Journey Through Ritual and Symbol
Born in Blood:
The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry
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