Endowment 

Summary

Bestowal of spiritual blessings, power, or knowledge.1 Beginning in 1831, multiple revelations promised an endowment of “power from on high” in association with the command to gather.2 Some believed this promise was fulfilled when individuals were first ordained to the high priesthood in June 1831.3 However, by 1833, the promise was connected to the building of the House of the Lord in Kirtland, Ohio.4 A June 1834 revelation indicated that Zion could not be redeemed until after an endowment of “power from on high” was received in the House of the Lord.5 JS and others reported an outpouring of spiritual manifestations during the dedication of the House of the Lord on 27 and 31 March 1836 and in the solemn assembly held there on 30 March 1836.6 JS explained that this and future endowments would empower elders to preach the gospel.7 Endowments of various gifts and knowledge were occasionally promised to individual church members.8 A January 1841 revelation instructed the Saints to build a temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, where the faithful could receive an endowment.9 On 4 May 1842, JS revealed to “a small company” of men a specific temple-related ordinance called the endowment, which bestowed the knowledge necessary for them to enter into God’s presence.10 Beginning in 1843, JS administered the endowment to a limited group of church members and leaders organized for that purpose.11 After JS’s death, the Saints’ highest priority was completing the Nauvoo temple for the administration of the endowment.12 See also “Anoint,” “Washing,” and “Prayer meeting.”