By Cordell and Janice Vail

01 Feb 2004

Copyright 2004 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail


Because so many people are going to see the new movie, "the Last Samurai" there seems to be a lot of interest in Harikari and what it is and where it came from. I have also been having people ask me if there was any connection to that and the old LDS Temple ceremony. We of course can not discuss the actual temple ceremony outside the temple but I thought because of the great interest in that movie right now I would present my views on it and try to answer the questions some of you have been asking me.

Those covenants were put in the original temple ceremony, which was revealed to ADAM by an Angel. The ceremony we have today, which is from that original Adamic Temple ceremony was revealed to Joseph Smith. Brigham Young was the one who actually wrote down the original words to our LDS Temple ceremony. Joseph Smith divided the big upper room over his store into four sections (or rooms) by hanging blankets on ropes. Then he showed Brigham Young and others the temple ceremony as revealed to him by the Lord. Then Brigham Young actually worked out the final wording and wrote it down. (you can read more about that in the History of the Church).

As for the covenants themselves and why they were taken out of the ceremony I can only tell you what I know as I understand it. It was my understanding that those covenants were removed because there was such misunderstanding about them and their purpose and especially the fact that the anti-Mormons were using it to keep people from joining the church. They so totally misunderstood the purpose of the covenants that the anti-Mormons started telling people that the Mormon temple ceremony contained "death threat covenants" such that if you revealed the covenants you made there to anyone else, THE CHURCH WOULD KILL YOU. That of course was totally false.

One of the things that I find interesting studying history is how Satan has tried to counterfeit everything that you can find in Christ's true church. For example we have patriarchal blessings. They have fortune tellers. Lehi had the Liahona they have a crystal ball. We believe man can become a god, they teach monkeys became men..... etc etc. I wrote a whole research paper on the counterfeits of Satan. I could not find anything in Satan's teachings that was not a counterfeit of something that was a truth in Christ's church.

It would not be unreasonable to assume that when and angel came and gave Adam the original temple ceremony that he then taught it to his sons. So then his sons would know the temple ceremony. For example the Pearl Of Great Price says that Cain talked to God just like Able did at first so he surely knew the temple ceremony just like Adam knew it. Then Cain fell away. Is it any surprise then that you would find parts of the original temple ceremony still in the rituals of the Black African tribes. They have of course been greatly altered by them and they have no idea what the original teachings were, but you find pieces of that original Adamic Temple Ceremony everywhere where in African tribe religious rituals.

We know that Noah had that same original temple ceremony. He taught it to his sons Shem, Ham and Japeth. Ham then married Egyptus who was a Canaanite (black) and because of that their kids could not hold the priesthood . So, as the Pearl Of Great Prices says, the grandson of Ham who's name was Pharaoh, WAS A RIGHTEOUS MAN BUT BECAUSE HE COULD NOT HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD, "HE IMITATED THE PRIESTHOOD". So if his grandfather Ham taught him the original Adamic temple ceremony and he imitated the priesthood, is it any wonder we find an almost exact duplicate of the original temple ceremony in the Egyptian endowment (including those covenants we are talking about here)?

Japath the son of Noah knew the ceremony too. Tradition says that he became the father of the Asian people. Is it any surprise then that in the Japanese religious ceremonies that you would find those same similarities to the original Adamic Temple Ceremony covenants? Harikari is just a part of their religious ceremony. Harikari demonstrates three ways to take your life rather than to "DISHONOR YOURSELF". That was very obviously copied from the original Adamic Temple Ceremony. Is it any surprise to find that they had a thread of truth that was passed down through the generations from Noah? Of course because they did not have a living prophet, they totally totally lost the purpose of it or the intent of it from the original Adamic Temple Ceremony teaching? In the Japanese ceremony (and by the way they have taken Harikari out of their ceremonies now too) they believed that rather than to dishonor yourself (in what ever it was you were doing bad... like being captured and giving information to the enemy in a war) that it would be better to take your own life rather than to dishonor your self (in that case by telling what you knew). That would be a dishonor to yourself and your country. Honor was more important to the Japanese than life itself. That is what Harikari is. A way for them to voluntarily die rather than dishonor them selves in any way.

Most people do not know that in the Japanese ceremony, there were actually three ways to commit Harikari or take your life rather that to reveal what you knew. But we only hear about the third way, because it was the most honorable to do and that was the one they all used. So that is what then became known to us as committing Hari Cari. But they had two other ways to commit Harikari depending on the honor you sought in doing it.... So in the 2nd World War, if a Japanese soldier was captured they had covenanted to commit Harikari rather than to be captured and dishonor their county by revealing what they knew. So 1000's of them did that at the end of the war rather than be captured alive and be tortured into telling what they knew about the military. That is why we only hear about the 3rd way to commit Hari Cari, because that was the most honorable way and the one all those committing Harikari used. But it is important to understand that those Japanese soldiers did that "RATHER THAN TO REVEAL WHAT THEY KNEW"... that came right out of the ADAMIC TEMPLE CEREMONY.

At least the Japanese kept the real intent of the original Adamic Covenants. That is, not that you would be killed by the church or society if you ever revealed the covenant, but rather, like the original covenants, you would be better to give up your own life YOURSELF voluntarily rather than to dishonor yourself.... That is so interesting to me that they kept that part of the covenant making correct when no one else has. The Satanic counterfeit of that covenant making part of the Adamic Temple Ceremony is a threat by the other members of the secret society, that you would be killed by the secret society, if you revealed to others anything about the society

If Solomon had the original Adamic Temple Ceremony is it any surprise then that the Masons have those same covenants in their ceremony claiming to have the original ceremony of Solomon (which they do not. They actually copied the Greek mythology story for their ceremony not the Adamic Temple ceremony which is what was actually in Solomon's temple). But even the Greek mythology stories have that same theme in them... (The similarities of the Masonic Temple ceremony to the LDS ceremony....which there are almost no similarities..... is another whole subject for another time)

Pieces of the original Adamic temple ceremony are everywhere in the world. Even in the Catholic Church. Their secret society for men has those same covenants in it. But even out in the Catholic Church at large, there are parts of the original Adamic Temple Ceremony everywhere. The first thing the Pope does when he is crowned pope is to TAKE A NEW NAME. The priests and nuns all wear a special priesthood garment or habit which is a priesthood robe. When you go in the Catholic church the first thing you do is dip your fingers in the little bowl of water and put it on your forehead. They just lost the original part about the rest of your body that was in the original Adamic Temple Ceremony, but the Egyptians and Japanese did not leave that part out in their ceremonies and the Japanese still do all of it today.

So in satanic cults or those influenced by Satan, they counterfeit the truth from the original covenant making from the Adamic Temple Ceremony. They make covenants THAT IF YOU REVEAL THEIR SECRET COVENANTS THEY WILL KILL YOU. That is in all satanic inspired groups. Gangs, moffia, Charles Madson's secret society, satanic cults, and even in the Book Of Mormon Gadianton Robbers, Jaradite secret societies, etc etc... ALL OF THEM threatened to KILL YOU if you revealed their secret covenants to others or even if you try to get out of their society once you joined (assuming you would then reveal what you know about them).

That is a totally different concept from the original Adamic Temple Ceremony. A counterfeit of the true covenant but turned inside out..... THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF WHAT WE ARE SAYING HERE...... There is the twist. In the original temple ceremony they covenanted that because the temple covenants were so sacred, RATHER THAN TO ALLOW ANYONE TO FORCE THEM TO REVEAL THE COVENANTS THEY WOULD ALLOW THEIR LIFE TO BE TAKEN. In a Satanic society THEY threaten to KILL YOU if you reveal their secrets.

That is quit a different concept.

But of course the anti-Mormons did not want to point out that distinction and even to this very day some people are still saying we used to have covenants that if we revealed the temple ceremony you would "BE KILLED". A member of the church just today wrote and asked me that very question in that very way.

So from what I can see looking at it from the perspective of a common member of the church, the Lord just revealed to the prophet that for now it would be better to just take that out of the ceremony because people so misunderstood the intent of the covenant. Even members of the church.

In discussing this subject we have to be very careful to not discuss what actually do in the temple. It is not appropriate to talk about the temple ceremony outside the temple even about the parts they have taken out in the past. In Sunday School, if we wanted to talk about the Gadianton robbers and the other secret societies of the Book Of Mormon and Moroni's warning to us that if we embraced those same secret societies in our government in the Latter Days that we would be destroyed just like the Nephites were.... that is fine, but it would not be appropriate to tie that to our LDS Temple ceremony in any way in that forum.

In closing the discussion on this subject, again I would just like to remind you again that it is not appropriate to talk about the temple ceremony outside the temple in any way. So even though we have made reference to it here in this discussion, I just mention that here to remind all of us about the sacredness of the temple ceremony and President Lee's warning to us about "LOOSE TALK ABOUT THE TEMPLE" outside the temple. We need to be very careful not to discuss what we actually do in the temple, outside the temple. Not that it is SECRET, but because it is SACRED. I have always liked the comparison of the sacredness of the temple covenants to being like the sacredness of intimacy between partners in marriage. We all know what goes on between married couples. It is not secret, but it is too sacred to talk about with anyone other than our spouse.

NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.

Back to Index

Previous Sermon

Next Sermon

Back to Epistles