Yes, the endowment is symbolic. Apparently this is one of the new catch phrases. But in typical Mormon fashion, they totally co-opt the concept so bad that they completely turn it on its head. The ultimate meaning of the endowment is to realize that you don't need the church at all. That is the worst thing that can happen, in their eyes.
It is a re-creation of the Hero's Journey- and the end of the journey is to break free of all your local, tribal indoctrination to attain a universal world view that tells you you are a whole person all by yourself with no more ties to your past. Philo Sophee has touched on this idea in some of his recent podcasts. That is the worst thing that can happen in a religion like Mormonism, which exists wholly to convince you you are never good enough to live without it. Historical hints suggest that that is exactly what Joseph Smith wanted the endowment to be when it was fully realized, but his death- and his polygamy tangent- brought his plans to a screeching halt, and then all subsequent leaders made damn sure that everybody understood that the endowment is wholly owned by the Q12 and you'd better like it or else.
It also completely undermines the message of some guy named Jesus. His actual message, as opposed to the messages of people who decided they knew Jesus better than Jesus himself did, is that you are inherently an equal with God. But way back in the past, the churches turned this upside down and insisted that what Jesus really meant is that you can only find salvation through compliance with the strictures of the church. If Jesus were to come back today, the Mormon church (like Dostoevsky's Grand Inquisitor) would quickly kill him lest the membership have to actually think for themselves. That scares everybody out of their ever-loving minds.
So yeah, it is symbolic. It is symbolic of the fact that you don't need them after all. And that is how they define hell.
Thank you. It helps to vent.
Symbolic of what? They really don't want you to figure it out.
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