Adoptive Sealing Ritual in Mormonism
Journal of Mormon History, Forthcoming
65 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2011
Date Written: Summer 2011
After detailing the early Mormon cosmology which necessitated adoption ritual, this article treats the participants, practice, and meaning of adoption in the Nauvoo Temple. Adoption theology, though still burgeoning, also served as an organizational nexus for the trek west. After reaching Utah, Church leaders’ views of adoption continued to develop though no adoptions were performed until the St. George Temple was dedicated in 1877. The thirty-one-year hiatus in the ritual’s performance did not impede belief in the importance of adoption, though confusion abounded. Once temples were available in Utah, Latter-day Saints performed adoption rituals, but in different ways than in Nauvoo. Furthermore, Church leaders began to question and debate the practice, which ultimately led to Wilford Woodruff’s 1894 revelation, transforming the temple liturgy and leading to contemporary Mormon belief and practice.
Keywords: Mormon, LDS, Latter-Day Saint, Liturgy, Ritual, Temple, Adoption, Sealing
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