"Pay Lay Ale" or "Pale Ale"

Here are two irreverent examples of secular interpretations of the "Sign of the Second Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood" from the secret Mormon temple endowment ceremony.

Until the 1990 changes in the ceremony, this secret sign was made by raising the hands above the head and lowering them while saying "Pay Lay Ale," and repeating this three times. The words were supposed to mean, in the sacred language used by Adam in the Garden of Eden, "O God, hear the words of my mouth!" Since 1990 the original words have been replaced in the ceremony by the vernacular translation, probably because of the possible confusion which is illustrated here.

The first example is by the talented artist and former Mormon Emily Ivie. She designed this label/logo to be used on the souvenirs for the annual convention of the Recovery From Mormonism group in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1999.

The building in the logo is the Nauvoo Temple in Nauvoo, Illinois, which was abandoned by the Mormons and destroyed in the late 1840s. (A modern replica now stands on the site.) Joseph Smith and Brigham Young are pictured on each side. Below the picture of the temple is one of the "sunstones" which functioned as capstones to the Nauvoo temple columns.

On either side of the logo are a man and woman dressed in Mormon temple clothing, drinking "Pay Lay Ale." The neck of the bottle has a picture of the Gold Plates from which Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon.

The quotation, of course, is a parody of the supposed English translation of Adam's words.

The artist has this artwork available for sale on mugs, T-shirts, and other items, as well as other Mormon-related art, at http://www.cafepress.com/celestial_store/.

The second example is an actual label, used on beer made by Todd McAllister. It was designed by Todd, Bill Shunn, and Karawynn Long. Todd and Bill are former Mormons.

The face is Joseph Smith. A "Gold Senine" is a coin mentioned in the Book of Mormon. The quotation from "D&C 89:14" is from the Mormon scripture which the church now interprets as forbidding brewed drinks, but which in the 1830s probably allowed them, since 89:17 specifically lists barley as useful for "mild drinks."

The building is the Salt Lake Temple. The picture of the "brewmasters" shows Mormons in the ritual temple robes making the secret sign and saying "Pe Le Ale." "Masonic Breweries" refers to the fact that much of the Mormon endowment ceremony is obviously copied from the Masonic initiation ritual of the 1840s.

Comments? (Please, no preaching or hate mail!) Write:  packham@teleport.com

Text © 1999 Richard Packham; art work © 1999 by the respective artists Emily Ivie, Todd McAllister, Bill Shunn, and Karawynn Long, and used here with permission.


Drank a glass of beer at Moisser's   - entry in Joseph Smith's diary for June 1, 1844
(Frederick G. Moesser ran a "grog shop" in Nauvoo)