Playing Simon Says in the Endowment

By Eleazar, 2003


 

One might come to notice how the LDS Temple endowment is played out as the proverbial game of "Simon Says".

 

In the childhood game of  Simon Says, players are supposed to act out instructions only  if Simon says so.   If a player is enticed to do something that Simon does not say to do, then the player loses.   


Simon is Peter, who is the narrator of the endowment ceremony.  The other name of Peter in the New Testament is "Simon" (sometimes called Simon-Peter).     

 

In the endowment, Peter is the narrator and (represented by the) officiator.   Peter is the one who instructs the patrons.   In the ceremony, there comes a time that the brethren (players) do by themselves what Simon never tells them to do (awake).    This is incredibly symbolic and deeply profound, though not very flattering to the brethren.    It symbolizes their own mistaken perception that they are awake and obedient in the ceremony, when the reality is that they are still asleep.

 

It happens this way (abbreviated for clarity):   
Elohim:  "We will cause a deep sleep to come upon this man..." (Adam)
Simon (the narrator's voice over the loudspeaker): "...Brethren, close your eyes as if you were asleep." (the male patrons properly obey, just as Simon says)
Elohim:  "Adam, awake and arise."
Simon (narrator): "All the Brethren will please arise." (Notice that Simon asks the brethren to "arise", but they also open their eyes, though never told to do so)

In opening their eyes per the rules of the childhood game, the male patrons in the endowment fail to do as Simon says because the admonition to Adam (by Elohim) to awake was not from Simon.    It is the player's mistake.   Thus, the narrator (Simon) tells the (male) patrons (players) to close their eyes (as if asleep), but throughout the endowment Simon  never tells them to open their eyes again (as if they were awake).

Much of the true joy in living comes from looking back and seeing how we've been so good at playing jokes on ourselves.    This is one of these cases.   
And all around us is profound comedy if we will take time to notice.

 


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