Relationship of Mormonism and Freemasonry - Deseret Book
Masonic Themes Related to the Book of Mormon. are so apparent and overwhelming that some dependent relationship cannot be denied. The purpose of this reply is to discuss the relationship of Mormonism to Freemasonry in a spirit of fairness and truth, to answer criticisms of S.H. Goodwin, . To understand the relationship between Mormonism and the fraternal order known as Freemasonry, it proves necessary to acknowledge and.
Thus, it is apparent that the Prophet and his family were familiar with masonic symbols and rituals. The question under discussion is how the symbolism and rituals of Masonry compare with Mormon Temple worship.
In answering the question it is important to keep in mind that Masonry is a fraternal order, and there are no religious covenants that are made by its members, whereas in the temple, sacred covenants are made. Also, the symbols used in Masonry are symbols of brotherhood, while in the temple, they are symbolic of eternal covenants with God.
There are a few Masons today who still hold to this view. To understand the relationship between Mormonism and the fraternal order known as Freemasonry, it proves necessary to acknowledge and understand the perspective expressed by nineteenth century Latter-day Saints. Many have joined the Masonic institution. This seems to have been a stepping stone or preparation for something else, the true origin of Masonry.
This I have also seen and rejoice in it…. I have evidence enough that Joseph is not fallen. I have seen him after giving, as I before said, the origin of Masonry Andrew F. In referencing the Mormon temple endowment, Heber C. We have received some precious things through the Prophet on the Priesthood which would cause your soul to rejoice. I cannot give them to you on paper for they are not to be written so you must come and get them for yourself…There is a similarity of Priesthood in Masonry.
Brother Joseph says Masonry was taken from Priesthood but has become degenerated. But many things are perfect Heber C. Kimball to Parley P. Pratt, 17 JuneParley P. Thus, the contemporaries of the Prophet Joseph Smith believed that there was much more to the Mormon temple endowment than an adaptation of Freemasonry rituals to suit his own purposes. Nibley, also commented on this subject: Did Joseph Smith reinvent the temple by putting all the fragments — Jewish, Orthodox, Masonic, Gnostic, Hindu, Egyptian, and so forth — together again?
No, that is not how it is done. Very few of the fragments were available in his day, and the job of putting them together was begun, as we have seen, only in the latter half of the nineteenth century.
They feature presentation of the ritual through drama. They contain an oath of chastity requiring strict purity and virtue of the participants. They feature prominent use of the sun, moon and stars as key symbols. The purpose of the ritual is to assist mortals to attain to godhood.
They employ titles and offices of prophets, priests and kings to those in leadership. After presenting this material Quinn comments, To be sure Masonic rituals also shared some similarities with the ancient mysteries, but these were not linked to any concept of heavenly ascent, which was fundamental to both the occult mysteries and to the Mormon endowment. Therefore, what similarities may exist between Freemasonry and Mormonism seem more appropriately to be regarded as superficial, whereas the ancient occult mysteries and the Mormon endowment manifest both philosophical and structural kinship.
Mormonism and Masonry Masonry's influence on Mormonism and Joseph Smith has been noted by a number of historians. Masonic Themes Related to the Book of Mormon. Brooke in his book The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology,noted the following in reference to the story of the discovery of the gold plates and the narrative structure of the Book of Mormon: Freemasonry provides a point of entry into this very complex story.
As it had been in Vermont, Masonic fraternity was a dominant feature of the cultural landscape in Joseph Smith's Ontario County The dense network of lodges and chapters helps explain the Masonic symbolism that runs through the story of the discovery of the Golden Plates.
Most obviously, the story of their discovery in a stone vault on a hilltop echoed the Enoch myth of Royal Arch Freemasonry, in which the prophet Enoch, instructed by a vision, preserved the Masonic mysteries by carving them on a golden plate that he placed in an arched stone vault marked with pillars, to be rediscovered by Solomon.
In the years to come the prophet Enoch would play a central role in Smith's emerging cosmology. Smith's stories of his discoveries got more elaborate with time, and in June he promised Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris that they would see not only the plates but other marvelous artifacts: All of these artifacts had Masonic analogues. Smith's sources for these Masonic symbols were close at hand.
Most obviously, Oliver Cowdery would have been a source, given that his father and brother were Royal Arch initiates; one Palmyra resident remembered Oliver Cowdery as 'no church member and a Mason. A comment by Lucy Mack Smith in her manuscript written in the s, protesting that the family did not abandon all household labor to try 'to win the faculty of Abrac, drawing magic circles, or sooth-saying,' suggests a familiarity with Masonic manuals: However, it wasn't until later in life that Joseph's involvement became more personal.
Joseph's Personal Involvement in Freemasonry. Mormon Apostle John A. Kimball, Elijah Fordham, Newel K. Whitney, James Adams, and John C. With the acquiescence of the Prophet, members of the Church already Masons petitioned the Grand Master of Illinois for permission to set up a lodge in Nauvoo Joseph Smith became a member Evidences and Reconciliations, 1 volume, pp.
Joseph Smith admitted to being a Mason in his History of the Church, volume 4, page Under the date of March 15, it reads: How did Joseph's Masonic membership affect the development of the Mormon Church?
The most significant area appears to be in the development of the Mormon temple ceremonies. As noted above, Joseph became a Mason on March 15, and "rose to the sublime degree" the following day.
Less than two months later, on May 4,Joseph introduced the temple endowment ceremony History of the Church, Vol. Masonry and Mormon Temple Ceremonies.
Occultic and Masonic Influence in Early Mormonism
Durham, who has served as president of the Mormon History Association, provides a number of interesting parallels between the two. He gives these as evidence for Masonry's clear influence on Mormonism.
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I am convinced that in the study of Masonry lies a pivotal key to further understanding Joseph Smith and the Church. Masonry in the Church had its origin prior to the time Joseph Smith became a Mason It commenced in Joseph's home when his older brother became a Mason. The many parallels found between early Mormonism and the Masonry of that day are substantial I have attempted thus far to demonstrate that Masonic influences upon Joseph in the early Church history, preceding his formal membership in Masonry, were significant.
However, these same Masonic influences exerted a more dominant character as reflected in the further expansion of the Church subsequent to the Prophet's Masonic membership. In fact, I believe that there are few significant developments in the Church, that occurred after March 15which did not have some Masonic interdependence. Let me comment on a few of these developments.
Mormonism and Freemasonry - Mormon FAQ
There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment, introduced by Joseph Smith to Mormon Masons, had an immediate inspiration from Masonry. This is not to suggest that no other source of inspiration could have been involved, but the similarities between the two ceremonies are so apparent and overwhelming that some dependent relationship cannot be denied.
They are so similar, in fact, that one writer was led to refer to the Endowment as Celestial Masonry. It is also obvious that the Nauvoo Temple architecture was in part, at least, Masonically influenced. Indeed, it appears that there was an intentional attempt to utilize Masonic symbols and motifs