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Both Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were full Masons. Most of the Mormon temple ceremonies come from Masonic rituals.
Freemasonry And Mormonism
Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005, at 09:56 AM
Original Author(s): A Grant
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
There are no "secrets" of either Freemasonry or Mormonism not available on the net if you stumble around long enough. Be wary of Ed Decker's site

Some commonlities are the office of high priest order of Melkezediak...straight out of early Masonry - look into the York Rite.

Same for the concept taught in the 1800;s that man was in fact a potential God.

Compare the text for the oaths for the first three degrees in Masonry...Entered Apprentence, Fellow Craft and Master Mason with the oaths used in the temple before 1974.

Also look at similarities between the grips and the five points of fellowship.

Pictures of Brigham young with a masonic square and compass on his blouse are common.

At one time the Mormons were regarded as a clandestine masonic lodge - get this by talking with the head of the Salt Lake City Masonic Center on East North Temple.

You can also investigate the variety of symbols found in the walls of the temples, such as the upside down five-pointed star or "The Eastern Star" with a ray pointing downward to illuminate Christ's cradle.

Other masonic symbols are visible such as the all seeing eye and square and compass.

The entire wardrobe of the temple is 1800 masonic including sash, baker hat and aprons.

The Apron worn by Satan in the early live morality plays is identical to one given to George Washington by Lafayette.

do a search in Yahoo for early freemasonry...that will give you much to read...btw avoid mormon apologists saying that both the temple ceremony and masonic rites originated in Solomons temple and the Church has the "right" version. Masonry was codified in England in 1717, Mormonism came over 100 years later. Both want to argue going back to solomons time, but little proof exists that in fact Masonry went back much further than 1300's

This should give you a start
Spiritual Violation And Masonic Elements In The Mormon Temple
Monday, Jun 27, 2005, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
Dear exmormon Recovery Board members,

I am not a Mormon, nor do I know of any Mormons where I live, but I have spent many hours reading these posts, and I must say that I had no idea that this was a reality of Mormonism. I feel shocked and saddened.

I am a Mason, and bearing the Masonic-Mormon connection in mind, I have written a short essay on the feelings of weirdness and of spiritual violation some people have experienced in Mormon temple rites and written about on this website. I hope it has something to offer.

Spiritual Violation and Masonic Elements in the Mormon Temple:

From the exmormon board I know there are many issues about what is true and what isn't about the origins and written materials of Mormonism. And although finding that some things aren't as portrayed can be deeply painful, Mormonism really no different in this respect from many other religions. Many religions tend to unravel a bit if investigated. I guess it comes down to whether the inconsistencies are faith shaking for the individual or not. The Protestant/Catholic church is really no better in this regard in its early years. There is plenty of documented evidence of all the many changes made to the scriptures to make them fit the evolving desires of the church hierarchy. But it mostly happened so long ago that most people don’t find it faith shaking that a pope in say 300 AD reworded stuff in the bible. Besides, it is the practice of most fundamentalists to learn Greek, so they can read the early unaltered texts. Also, the petty tyrant syndrome in Mormonism is found pretty much anywhere untrained and unqualified people are given leadership positions. But that doesn't make it ok.

But I guess what continues to stand out to me as I read these posts, and what stands out from other religions, is the Mormon temple experience. It seems very much out of place, and even contradictory to, the ward/chapel experience and teachings. Also, I repeatedly see people on the board using the term "spiritually violated" in regards to their temple experience. This seems unique to the Mormon temple experience. It is very rare to hear that leveled at other religions, except obviously evil ones like say the church of satan, and it only seems to be leveled at the temple part of the Mormon religion. It seems to horrify a significant percent of the adult Mormon participants, especially the pre-1990 version. Much of this, according to the accounts I've read, stems from what I recognize as a Mason to be the Masonic elements in the rituals.

In regards to the Masonic elements, it is important to bear in mind that Freemasonry at heart is a type of trans-cultural Gnosticism. Its Blue Lodge rituals reflect this, and there is depth of contextual substance to them in this regard which is lacking in the Mormon christianized versions. Obviously there are going to be problems if you spring esoteric Gnostic Lodge ritual items on unsuspecting non-ritual bible-oriented Christians.

Also, Masonic rituals do not provoke the sense of spiritual violation reported by ex-mormons. There are indeed ex-Masons, and some of them are angry and vocal about their Masonic experience. But from what I have seen their issues are typically reactions from fundamentalist Christian positions and feel that Masonry is un-biblical and un-godly. And I would agree that Masonry is not compatible with the fundamentalist Christian worldview. They are right by their lights to condemn it.

There are also men who have come into interpersonal conflict in Masonry and become disenchanted, as well as those who perceive it to be an Illuminati plot to take over the world. But mostly these are outsiders and converts to fundamentalist Christianly that can no longer square Masonry's Gnostic undercurrents with their new bible-literalist belief paradigm. The point I am making is that although Masonry has plenty of detractors, and critical ex-masons, the critique is not based on having been horrified by the degree rituals at the time they took them.

However, I have come to realize it is the borrowed elements of Masonry that most horrify Mormon temple participants. From having read several texts of sealings and endowments of various eras, several things stand out to me. First, these are not parallels with Masonry. These are actual ritual elements of Masonry lifted whole-cloth and inserted into Mormonism. Most of what was inserted, however, are the ritualistic gestures and protocol sequences meaningless in and of themselves. In the context of the Masonic rituals these have meaning and purpose and are congruent. But, when cut and pasted out of the full Masonic ritual they are frankly weird and alien. A full Masonic degree ritual takes up to 3 hours in a Masonic lodge, most of which is given to explaining in detail the meaning of the ritual to the candidate as it goes along. These elements then, in Masonry, are in a meaningful context within the ritual and within the history/mythology of Masonry. In other words, these elements seem normal in the flow of Masonry as experienced by candidates in their degrees.

Also, Masonry is unique (or was until several years ago) in that its bylaws forbid ever asking anyone to become a mason. You can only (until several years ago) become a Mason by pursuing it of your own accord and asking to be one. There is no recruiting (until several years ago). Also, candidates are shown the lodge room on their first interview so they will know that it is an unusual place ahead of time. They are shown the outfit they will be wearing. They are also given indication of what will happen in the degrees, and what the vows and penalties are. (The worst that can happen is to be "reprimanded, suspended, or expelled.")

This is not meant to be a glorification of Masonry, rather it is to show that Masonry forewarns, and Masonry makes contextual sense within itself to the extent that the rituals do not weird out the participants. Smith's innovation, however, in taking ritualistic elements out of Masonic context and sending recruits into it blind, has had a very negative and spiritually disastrous effect on a certain percent of people.

Simply put, people expect something very different from what they get in the Mormon temple, and the happenings they experience are bizarre and non-sensical to them; where in Masonry, you get what you expected and the happenings make contextual sense.

I think this is why people feel weird and spiritual violated. Something very spiritually weird, unexpected, and unwished for is forced upon them without their consent. (Consent is only valid if the person knows ahead of time exactly what is going to happen.)

Even as an initiated Mason, I would feel strange indeed were I to go through the temple endowments today and unprepared. I don’t think any of us go to church for weird and secret Masonic rites to be sprung on us unsuspecting or otherwise.

I am given to understand that not everyone who has experienced temple ordinances feels weird about it. But the simple fact that some people do is a giant red flag. Spiritual violation is the deepest wrong a religion can commit, and that the issue is even relevant to Mormonistic rituals is a very serious thing.

It is of such seriousness, and to be taken with such seriousness, that the very specter of its head being risen would and should call for an immediate cease of activity in that area by leadership and a through redressing of the situation. No truly spiritual person would ever stand for or allow themselves as a leader to perpetuate a system that can have a spiritually violating effect on a portion of its membership.

People have every reason to feel spiritual violated in such circumstances as described.

Mormons should not be subjected unsuspecting to weird and secretive Masonic rites. Masons should not have their degree rituals used out of context and in a way that spiritually violates people. In Christianity, those who use Christian and Catholic rites out of context and in a way that spiritually violates people are called Satanists.
Diebold & The Mormon Mason Handshake
Monday, Jul 18, 2005, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
Diebold, the Ohio computer election systems manufacturer, remains under a cloud regarding irregularities in its tabulation of the 2004 US presidential vote, which led to the reinstalling of George W. Bush. So it may be productive to explore what appears to be a significant Diebold-Mormon link, as well as observe how the Mormons are jockeying for a major political role in America. We already know of the Bush tie-in to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

First some background on Mormon politics. Historically, Mormons tend to vote Republican, perhaps forever scarred by being driven out of Missouri and elsewhere in the 1830s -- some tarred and feathered -- by Democrats. Mormons subsequently threw their support to the Whig party, forerunners of today's Republicans.

The LDS church has made no fanfare about Diebold CEO Walden O'Dell being a "Saint". And O'Dell's promotion of the serving of alcoholic beverages at political fundraisers would further imply that he is not -- alcohol being a Mormon no-no.

But he was a major contributor to George W. Bush's reelection campaign, organizing a $1,000-a-plate dinner in August 2003 and encouraging supporters to donate $10,000, although Diebold's website now indicates high profile employees of the company should keep a politically neutral public face.
Why Isn'T The Mormon/Mason Connection A Bigger Deal?
Monday, Aug 29, 2005, at 08:36 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-

The cover article of this week's U.S. News and World Report is about the Masons. It's a fairly lightweight article that doesn't actually mention anything about JS's involvement with the movement, but it did get me wondering why the Masonic influence on Mormonism doesn't seem to be all that big a deal to a lot of people, at least in my perception. To me, the claim that JS's heavily Masonic temple rituals were simply a restoration of the "pure" rites from Solomon's temple is every bit as demonstrably false as the assertion that JS actually translated the Book of Abraham directly from the papyri. Yet the Masonic connection doesn't seem to merit much mention in most discussions of the church's problematic truth claims.

Is that Mason/Mormon issue as airtight as it seems? Or am I missing something?

- -

That's an interesting question. I suspect there are a number of reasons, but one of the main ones is the secrecy surrounding the ceremonies. TBMs only ever talk about them in hushed whispers, if at all, even though they can be read on the internet. Also, I don't think the origins of Masonry are terribly well documented. Even though the Masonic ceremonies came into existence several hundred years ago, it is a cloudy enough origin that most Mormons probably don't have much trouble accepting the explanation that these ceremonies were echos of those that were practiced originally in Solomon's temple. Nevermind that the ceremonies that we know about from the Old Testament are nothing like those practiced in the LDS temple or Masonic lodges.

Also, on some of the discussion boards where both pro and anti-mormons are allowed to present, there are pretty strict rules about saying anything about the temple ceremony. It is simply so offensive to the TBMs that any direct discussion is disallowed. So perhaps it doesn't get as much air-play as it otherwise might.

- -

Those TBMs that know about the similarities often see it as a sign that there was indeed a restoration of something that had been on the earth previously. The Masons use the ritual without power; the Mormons have the Inspired Version and the Power. It is merely another evidence of the gospel restored gathered after the fact of their conclusion. If they find out the proximity between JS's Masonic initiation and the revelation on the temple rites, well, that just shows God uses other people as His tools, and that He sure moves in mysterious ways.

- -

Yes! Brooke's book is excellent. Expensive, but excellent.

Here's a quote from the book regarding temples and Masonry:
"There is overwhelming evidence of the continuity between Masonic and Mormon symbolism. The sun, the moon, and the stars, the 'lesser lights' of the Masonic symbology, had long been woven into the Mormon cosmology of three heavens, and the sun and the moon were to be prominently displayed on the Nauvoo temple. The Masonic beehive, All-Seeing Eye, and the phrase 'Holiness to the Lord' would be ubiquitous symbols in Mormon Utah, where temples would reflect the Mormon encounter with Freemasonry both in their sculpted ornamentation and in their east-facing orientation, following the traditions of Masonic temples, which Mormon Masons closely observed when they built a lodge building in Nauvoo. Planned before this immersion in Freemasonry, the temples at Kirtland and Nauvoo did not reflect the Masonic priority of the east. In the Kirtland temple, which opened onto the east, the pulpits of the Melchizedek, the senior priesthood, were at the west end of the temple; the Nauvoo temple faced the town and river, which were to the west of the bluff on which it was built. The Utah temples face east, and the east ends of the buildings are devoted to the Melchizedek, mirroring the eastward orientation of Masonic lodge buildings. Both were intended to be replications of Solomon's temple, a connection that Joseph Smith made when he began to call the Nauvoo temple the 'Holiest of Holies.'

"Throughout the temple rituals themselves there were striking similarities with Masonic symbolism, especially those of the York Rite, which was established at the Nauvoo Lodge. The temple garments, very similar to Masonic ceremonial garb, included an apron with the Masonic compass and square, which was also among the emblems on the temple veil. The language of the tokens and penalties of the Mormon priesthoods had exact parallels in Freemasonry, progressing from parallels with the first three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason to parallels with the Royal Arch and the higher degrees. Among these parallels to the first three degrees were the signs of the 'five points of fellowship,' the penalties for disclosure of secrets, and priestly handgrips and bodily signing, including 'the Sign of the Nail.' Parallels with the Royal Arch included the use of the temple veil as the site of ritual discourses and catechisms and the role of a ritual actor representing God." (p. 249)
It goes on for several more pages on the similarities between the two ceremonies.

I have to admit that, due to my extreme discomfort with the temple, I have never been to the post-1990 temple ceremony -- even though I didn't have my ephiphany about the Church until the year 2000. So, I don't know what is left in that's the exact wording of the Masonic ceremony, but it's my understanding that most of that stuff was taken out in 1990. I went through pre-1990, and so it was quite disturbing to me to realize that the Five Points of Fellowship was ripped off word for word from the Masons and that the Masons didn't create the Five Points of Fellowship ritual until the early 18th century. So, it couldn't have come from Solomon's temple like I'd been taught.

I don't know that the Brooke's book is the very best for info on the temple specifically, although it has points in it that aren't found in other books. It's a great book, but it's purpose is to provide a general overview of how the unique Mormon cosmology developed -- which, admittedly, is strongly influenced by Freemasonry.

However, if you are looking specifically for a book that focuses on the development of the Mormon temple, I'd suggest The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship by David John Buerger published by Signature Books. On page 53 of that book, Buerger places, in two columns, the Nauvoo temple ceremony side by side with the Freemasonry rites and compares the two, so you can note the similarities and differences.

He discusses Brigham Young's revisions of the ceremony, and the developments in the 20th century, including the various changes to the garments.

Buerger's book is excellent, and although it's very candid about the temple ceremony and its development, it's objective tone would be difficult to be construed as "anti" by a TBM spouse who may stumble across the book in your bookshelf.

- -

The main problem is that most mormons have no idea about anything masonry. And if they take a minute to ask a question, they are told that everything was corrupted by the masons, and the mormon temple ceremony just sets it all right. (Sort of like the Book of Mormon straightening out the Bible)

I've had a book for many years--"Mormonism and Freemasonry," by Antone Ivins. It is signed by Heber J. Grant. (Aren't I cool?) I finally took time to really read it this past year and it says NOTHING! It's the biggest sham of a book I've ever seen. One chapter asks the question, "Why is the mormon temple ceremony so similar to the mason ceremony?" And then he spends the whole chapter telling the origins of mormonism, quoting in its entirity the Joseph Smith story from the D and C. (I'm not sure if that's exactly the question and answer, because I don't have the book right with me at the moment, bue every chapter is like that. A question and then a huge doctrinal treatise which has nothing to do with the question.)

If you'd like to do something interesting, visit a Masonic museum. There's an AMAZING little museum in Lexington, MA. Last time we went there I purchased a book from their used book rack. It had a whole chapter on the signs and tokens. This particular museum hosts several small traveling exhibitions (ie/ chocolate, or clocks, etc.) but it has a permanent exhibit of masonry. This exhibit is absolutely FILLED with "mormon temple-like" paraphernalia. There are compasses and squares everywhere. Carved in furnature--drawn in paintings...etc. The all seeing eye is prominent. And on one wall is a playbill (or something) with the names of Joseph Smith and Eliza R. Snow on them. Apparently they had something to do with some masonic production. It's a little foggy to me now. It's not that I'm losing it, it's just that my brain is too full!!

Check in your area for a Masonic museum and visit one. I believe there's one in Washington DC. This one in Lexington is the crown jewel, I believe, though, so if you are ever in the area, take a minute to visit it.
Rudyard Kipling, Masonic Ritual, And My Attempt To Find A Saving Grace In Mormon Temple
Monday, Sep 19, 2005, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
Rudyard Kipling was an English poet and author, probably best known to the casual American reader by his "Jungle Book." I was fortunate to stumble across a critical review of his lesser known writings involving a fictional Masonic Lodge (Rudyard Kipling: Hell and Heroism, by Wllm B. Dillingham). In fact, many of his writings were peppered with Masonic references, and for a good reason; he was initiated a Freemason in Lodge Hope and Perseverance, No. 782, E.C., in India, on the 5th of April, 1886, just under 21 years of age.

("Rudyard Kipling and Freemasonry" by W. Bro. S.P. Thompson, M.A., LL.M.,

Secret vs. Sacred

Kipling believed in the heroic life - a life filled with service and brave deeds for his fellow man. He also had an affinity for clubs and secret societies, and belonged to a good many of them. In writing about secret societies, he made secrecy a fundamental aspect of his ideal club, for it was also a basic ingredient in his creed of heroism. His respect for self-discipline and for the denial of certain human urges (such as the urge to blab) was a reason why he held the ability to keep secrets in high regard. When loyal Mormons speak what little they are allowed of the temple ceremonies, they recite the mantra, "It isn't so much secret as it is sacred," only parroting what they've heard General Authorities say, but not sure of what exactly constitutes sacred. Though secret-keeping is considered a virtue amongst Mormons, the overriding motivation in many cases could be they are relieved not to have to talk about the more embarrassing parts of the temple rituals (washing and anointing, baptizing dead people, chanting pay-lay-ale, and wearing green aprons and droopy togas, for example). The True Believing Mormon allegiance to secrecy about the temple also might be due to the oath they used to take that they'd rather their guts were ripped out, or their throat slit rather than reveal what happens in the temple (of course, now that parts of the temple ceremony are officially changed, they are only required to promise not to tell).

Kipling was criticized harshly for his penchant for secret-keeping. His contemporaries thought it a "contemptuous irritation," infantile, and even diabolical. I'm sure the same is thought of temple-attending Mormons today. Who hasn't resented the smug smile on someone's face who seems to be singing "I know something you don't know" under their breath? Speaking as a former Mormon, smugness wasn't usually intended. However, I remember angering several family members by refusing to tell them what goes on in a temple. Their anger most likely wasn't directed at me for trying to stay true to a promise. Rather, if there were any value at all in a society that insists its member kept secrets, it is denigrated by the anger directed at it by family and friends of the member of that society for suspected brainwash tactics and elitism that result in alienation from the member's original social/familial circle.

In short, secrecy isn't very polite. I don't see the value in it, and can only be suspicious of it.
The Compass And The Square Are The Two Most Prominent Masonic Symbols Used In Mormonism
Tuesday, Oct 25, 2005, at 11:31 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
The temple garments have the symbol of the compass ^ embroidered over one nipple and the symbol of the square embroidered over the other nipple. The compass, of course, is the device used for drawing circles and the square is ruler-like device bent at a 90 degree angle (the angle that can be found at each corner of a true square).

The temple ceremony includes several part where the cult member is required to hold his/her arm at a 90-degree angle, i.e., "to the square".

Just to give an idea...


At various points in the dramatization, in addition to the making of the covenants to keep the various laws, the patrons don the robe, sash and cap/veil - the "robes of the priesthood." The patrons move through the steps pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood wearing the robe on the left shoulder, then move the robe to the right shoulder for the rituals for the Melchizedek (higher) Priesthood. Each priesthood has two "tokens, signs and penalties" (only three penalties were actually stated, and in 1990 even those three were eliminated), which the patrons are given in sequence as part of their initiation. Each token also has a name which must be learned.

The tokens are special handclasps, with one person "giving" the token and the other person "receiving" it. The signs are positions in which the arms and hands must be held. These tokens and signs are methods of identifying oneself as endowed. Although no Mormon would use this means of identifying himself outside the temple, the implication is that one will be asked to show these signs and tokens for admission to the Celestial Kingdom.

The penalties, which were completely deleted from the ceremony in 1990, are stylized indications of various ways of being killed. It was understood that anyone revealing these signs or tokens was expressing willingness to suffer the corresponding penalty and lose his life. As each token and sign is presented to the company, each patron receives the token from an officiator and the company makes the sign (and, formerly, enacted the execution of the penalty) in unison.


The First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood is given by clasping the right hands and placing the joint of the thumb directly over the first knuckle of the other person's hand.

The name of this token is the New Name that was received in the washing and anointing ceremony.

The sign is made by bringing the right arm to the square, the palm of the hand to the front, the fingers close together, and the thumb extended.

The execution of the Penalty was represented by placing the right thumb under the left ear, the palm of the hand down, and by drawing the thumb quickly across the throat to the right ear, and dropping the hand to the side.


SECOND TOKEN OF THE AARONIC PRIESTHOOD (received with robe on left shoulder):

This Token is given by clasping the right hands and placing the joint of the thumb between the first and second knuckles of the hand.

The name of this token is one's own first given name if going through the temple for one's own endowment, or, if going through for the dead, it is the first given name of the dead person.

The sign is made by bringing the right hand in front, with the hand in cupping shape, the right arm forming a square, and the left arm being raised to the square.

In addition, Mormons believe that they can cast out evil spirits or rebuke Satan by holding the arm to the square and saying the magic words, such as: "By the power of the Holy Melchizedek Priesthood, which I hold, I rebuke thee and command thee in the name of Jesus Christ, to depart."

Here is a very interesting discussion of all of the various ordinances of Mormonism (many of which are rarely ever used nowadays). As you can see, many of them involve holding one or both arms to the square.
Freemasonic Rituals Were Right Up Joseph's Alley
Thursday, Jan 5, 2006, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Feeling Henry Jacobs
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
An Exposition of Freemasonry, by Captain William Morgan is a great, quick read. It is a very concise, verbatim report(100 or so pages) of the secret ceremonies that so captured Joseph Smith that he had to rip off parts of them for his own temple ordinances.

Reading the text of the ceremonies by Morgan, I could better of understand why Joseph glommed onto Freemasonry's secret ceremonies. The ceremonies include:
  1. Elaborate stories about ancient heroes and villains from an obviously imaginative mind or minds
  2. Intriguing stories of crime, retribution, violence and military action
  3. Eloquent, if verbose narratives about god's desire for the upright behavior of his chosen, fortunate sons who know the secrets
  4. Ordinances and oaths with a claimed lineage to ancient priesthoods and to King Solomon himself.
  5. Secrecy. Lots of secrecy.
In short, the whole secret ceremony would have been right up Joseph's alley. Sure, it was many of the mechanical parts(signs, grips, oaths) that he ripped off, but I think it was the elaborate narrative that must have really captured Smith's imagination.

If you have a few hours and are interested in the Mormon-Masonry connection, Morgan's booklet is well worth the time. It is online at
The Five Points of Fellowship
Tuesday, Nov 21, 2006, at 06:29 AM
Original Author(s): The Eastern Star
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
I might make you and your readers aware of the new book, "The Book of Hiram" by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas, currently on the bargain rack at Barnes and Noble. These men are two English Masons who wanted to know where Freemasonry came from and why they were performing what seemed to be "senseless" rituals during lodge meetings. Well, the result of researching their question brought them to the Roslyn Chapel in Scotland and they are the ones that decided that there must be a vault containing the secret scrolls of Jesus beneath the floor. They determined this using an outdated Masonic Ritual. Their books are non-fiction and very detailed both in historical fact and Masonic Ritual. The first book is the "The Hiram Key" and I would strongly recommend it to your readers.

Well, back to The Book of Hiram, this book is information on the origins of Freemasonry and the astrological ties that came from the megalithes of England and Ireland. In doing their recent research they have pieced together an interesting case of early biblical people worshiping Venus the goddess of love and the first light in the morning sky. They believe that the reason the number 40 and multiples of 40 are used so often in the Bible is because this is the cycle of Venus. As part of worshiping Venus, ancient cultures would perform fertility rites, these rites were random sexual acts performed on women by the King.....they make the case that Melchizedek was considered to be a member of the council of the gods and that as a King he would embrace the Goddess, (a random women who was participating in the fertility rites) in the five-pointed embrace. Robert Lomas and Christopher Knight maintain that "this is the secret knowledge that Solomon attempted to buy from Hiram, King of Tyre and the detail has been preserved in the weird and ancient rituals of Freemasonry". Page 158 of The Book of Hiram.

Later, as Masonry evolved, candidates were "raised into" or initiated into Freemasonry on the five-points of fellowship. They quote the ritual of the five-points on page 160 of the Book of Hiram. At one point, no pun intended it states the following words that are spoken to the candidate by the Worshipful Master, "Knee to knee, when we offer up our ejaculations to the Most High ..... page 161. The authors maintain that this ritual was originally a "king-making ritual", based in sex.

I thought you might find this interesting, I know I did. I was inducted into the cult of Mormonism in 1986 before they removed the Masonic penalties (1991) and the five-points of fellowship (1997). It makes me laugh to think that no only are the Masons lost to the real meaning of the ritual (Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas' premise), but that the Mormons have taken "lost" to a whole new level. They were performing a sex ritual for Venus worship and fertility to meet their maker.
The Secret Of Masonry, Is Knowing How To Keep A Secret
Monday, Mar 12, 2007, at 07:18 AM
Original Author(s): Swedeboy
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
The Mormon Temple ceremony is directly lifted from Freemasonry as well as the occult. Very few Mormons ever come across the information that this "mysterious" ceremony is NOT a restoration of anything remotely done in Solomon's Temple, but was initiated at a time in Joseph Smith's life when he needed desperately some method to shut people up.

He was practicing polygamy in private and hiding it from the public and his own wife. He was seducing young girls, young women, having no respect for their status as the wives and children of his closest friends. Although castigating himself as a sinner throughout the DandC, Joseph Smith continued his licentious ways and kept promises to no one: woman, child nor man.

He also promised to keep the Freemasons ceremony a secret, vowing with all the penalties and tokens that he would. Only two months later, he installed their ceremony as his Mormon ceremony, in the very same room where he made covenants and oaths of loyalty to his Freemason brothers. They made the mistake of trusting him.

Joseph Smith died without his garments on, and neither did Hiram Smith have his on. This lead Brigham Young to call Joseph Smith a fallen prophet, a little-mentioned factoid that most people don't know had to do with the absence of the garments on his final day of life. Why was he not wearing them? Because they identified one as a polygamist, since only those men who were at the celestial level (which required polygamy) were able to wear the garment.

Those identified as polygamists risked their lives from angry citizens who had heard all they needed to hear about Mormon licentiousness.

Did Joseph Smith call upon God in his final hour? No-he called upon the brotherhood of Freemasonry, which he had betrayed, to save him. He called out the secret phrase which binds all Freemasons to assist the one giving it, "Is there any help for the widow's son?"

This is why I became interested in Freemasonry and found this class taught by the Higleys here in Salt Lake. I share with you my notes and material from the handout which I found very illuminating:

Parallels between LDS Temple Ceremony and Masonic/Occult ceremonies

*Claim to be revealed by God and distorted through apostasy

*Worthiness of initiates a key

*Washing and anointings

*new name


*vows of non-disclosure

*rituals of "lesser" and "greater" significance

*presentation through drama

*oath of chastity //or// promiscuity

*use of sun, moon, stars as key symbols

*goal of attaining godhood

*titles and offices: prophets, priests, kings, etc, for leaders

*and much more.see link at end.

John L. Brooke, "The Refiner's Fire: The Making of Mormon Cosmology,1644-1844,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 appoint 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 stories of his discovereiss got more elaborate with time, and in June 1829 he promised Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris that they would see not only the plates, but other marvelous artifacts: the Urim and Thummim attached to a priestly breastplate, the sword of Laban, and 'miraculous directors.' Oliver Cowdery and Lucy Mack Smith later described three or four small pillars holding up the plates. All of these artifacts had Masonic analogues...Smiths sources for these Masonic symbols were close at hand. Most obviously, Oliver Cowdery would have a 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 1840's, protesting that the family did not abandon all household labor to try to "win th faculty of Abrac, drawing magic circles,or sooth-saying' suggests a familiarity with Masonic manuals: the 'faculty of Abrac' was among the supposed Masonic mysteries (Refiner's Fire, Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 157-158). ( website).

However, it wasn't until later in life that Joseph's involvement became more personal.

(About 1500 Mormons were Masons, including: Joseph Smith, LDS founder (JS),Joseph Smith, Sr, JS father, Hyrum Smith, JS brother, Samuel Smith, JS brother, William Smith, JS brother, Brigham Young, JS successor 2nd president(BY), John Taylor, 3rd president, Wilford Woodruff, 4th president, Lorenzo Snow, 5th president, Sidney Rigdon, JS counselor, John C. Bennett,JS assistant, Willard Richards, 2nd counselor to BY, Newell K. Whitney,Presiding Bishop, Heber C. Kimball, 1st counselor to BY, Orson Pratt, apostle, Parley P. Pratt, apostle, Orson Hyde, apostle, Orrin PorterRockwell, JS bodyguard, Lyman Johnson, apostle, William Law, 2nd counselor to JS, William Marks, Nauvoo Stake President, Erastus Snow, apostle, William Clayton, JS secretary.)

A relationship between Mormonism and Masonry goes back to the beginning of the Restoration. At the end of 1841, LDS Masons in Nauvoo organized the first of four Masonic lodges in Mormon communities. Joseph Smith applied for admission as soon as the first lodge was formed and was raised to the degree of Master Mason in March 1842. Less than 2 months later, he administered the endowment for the first time in the upper room of his red brick store-the same room where he had been initiated into Masonry.

During the period that the Saints were building the Nauvoo Temple ,they also built a Masonic temple Andover 1300 LDS became Master Masons before fleeing Nauvoo.

The growth of the Mormon lodges was unusually rapid: by way of comparison,consider that in 1840 here were only about 2,000 Masons in the entire United States. Concerns about such irregularities lead Masonic authorities to renounce ties with the Mormon lodges in 1844-1845. Bad feelings between Mormons and Masons lingered for over a century. A Masonic lodge founded in Utah refused to admit Latter-day Saints until 1984; for its part, the LDS Church has enjoined its members from belonging to "secret societies" since the beginning of the 20th century. (NOTE: this has recently changed)

For more detailed discussion of similarities, please click on the following link, which is a response to a Mormon apologist from a Mormon who is also a Mason:

Why did Masonry appeal to Joseph Smith?

Like millions of other 19th-century Americans who joined fraternalorganizations (Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Knights of Labor, Knights of Columbus), Joseph may have seen political and commercial advantages in belonging to the Masonic network. At a time when he feared for his life, he may have hoped that Masonry would offer protection: last words at Carthage Jail-"Oh Lord my God! Is there no help for the poor widow's son?" were probably an attempt to give the Masonic sign of distress. Further more, Masonic ritual was useful for cultivating acclimate of secrecy and loyalty in which Joseph could institute plural marriage.

But Masonry's attraction for Joseph a was devotional as well as practical..He had a life-long passion for learning and Masonry offered him a whole new world of knowledge: esoteric teachings purportedly connected to biblical figures as well as to ancient Greek and Egyptian mysteries.

Given Joseph's patent interest in scripture and ancient teaching, it is not surprising that he should want to know what Masonry might have to say about these. Also, the Masonic idea of advancing by degrees likely resonated with Joseph's vision of progressing "from grace to grace" (DandC 93:13) or receiving "knowledge upon knowledge" (DandC 42:61) (NOTE: or, more likely, was the source of the concept).

It's not hard to see why Masonry would appeal to Joseph; it's harder to determine why, and whether, Joseph shifted form an anti-Masonic stance earlier in his life. Historians and biographers have noted parallels between early 19th-centry anti-Masonic rhetoric and passages from Joseph Smith's revelations denouncing (in the Book of Mormon) secret a combinations. If Joseph began as an anti-Mason (and certainly anti-Masonic sentiment would be consistent with the evangelical tone of his early religious activities), how do we explain his openness to Masonry during the Nauvoo period? Perhaps the answer is that Masonry encompasses intellectual realism beyond traditional Christianity and thus came to attract Joseph's sympathetic attention at time when his own world view was expanding to include untraditional ideas (plural marriage, uncreated intelligences, men becoming gods and a god who is an exalted man).

Masonry exposed Joseph to a new ritual style, one he clearly found congenial and would emulate in the endowment. The rites of Masonry are supposed to be restricted to men (though auxiliary orders have emerged for Mason's wives and daughters). By contrast, the endowment was administered, almost from the beginning, to women as well as to men, in keeping with Joseph Smith's new doctrine that celestial marriage was required to attaint the highest degree of exaltation.

Furthermore, where the rites of Masonry created fraternal bonds between mortals, the endowment aimed to create such bonds between mortals and God, who, according to Joseph's Nauvoo teaching, is himself an exalted man.

Mormon Masons in Nauvoo administered the Blue Lodge rites to groups as well, which is one of the reasons they came into conflict with Masonic authorities. (LDS endowment web site). At the time of Joseph's and Hyrum's death, the Times and Seasons reported this:

.that these two innocent men were confined in jail for a supposed crime, deprived on f any weapon to defend themselves, had the pledged faith of the State of Illinois, by Gov Ford for their protection, and were then shot to death, while, with uplifted hands they gave such signs of distress as would have commanded the interposition and benevolence of Savages or Pagans. They were both Masons in good standing. Ye brethren of "the mystic tie" what think ye! Where is our good Master Joseph and Hyrum?... Joseph's last exclamation was "O Lord my God." (Times and Seasons, vol V July 15, 1844) (The reporter left off the last part of the Masonic plea.)

E. Cecil McGavin explains:"In the diary of Benjamin F. Johnson, an intimate friend and associate of Joseph Smith, it is recorded that 'Joseph told me that Freemasonry was the apostate endowment, as sectarian religion was the apostate religion.' Elder Heber C. Kimball, who had been a Mason for many years, related that after Joseph Smith became a Mason, he explained to his brethren that Masonry had been taken from the priesthood." (Mormonism and Masonry, p. 199)

In trying to explain why their temple ritual resembles that of the Masons, some Mormons claim that the endowment was given in Solomon's Temple and that the Masons preserved part of the ceremony. Apostle Melvin J. Ballard has been quoted as saying the following: "Modern Masonry is a fragmentary presentation of the ancient order established by King Solomon. From whom it is said to have been handed down through the centuries. "Frequent assertion that some details of the Mormon Temple ordinances resemble Masonic rites, led him to refer to this subject, " the speaker declared, and he added "that he was not sorry there was such a similarity, because of the fact that the ordinances and rites revealed to Joseph Smith constituted a reintroduction upon the earth of the divine plan inaugurated in the Temple of Solomon in ancient days. "Masonry is an apostasy from the ancient early order, just as so-called Christianity is an apostasy from the true Church of Christ" (TheSalt Lake Herald, December 29, 1919, as cited in Mormonism and Masonry, by S. H. Goodwin, pp. 49-50)

Masonry and Mormon Temple Ceremonies

The pervasive influence of Freemasonry in Mormon temples is expressed well by LDS historian Dr. Reed Durham. Dr. Durham, who has served a 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.

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 hen his older brother became a Mason. Hyrum received the first three degrees of Masonry in Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 112 of Palmyra, New York, at about the same time that Joseph was being initiated into the presence of God. The many parallels found between early Mormonism and the Masonry of that day are substantial.

I have attempted thus far to demonstrate the 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 into 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 15, 1842, which did not have some Masonic interdependence. Let me comment on a few of these developments. There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Mormon ceremony, which came to be known as th 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 he similarities between the two ceremonies are so apparent and overwhelming that some dependent relationship cannot be denied. They ware 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. (NOTE: Any explanation that such symbolism was prevalent at the time as part of the 19th century "culture" cannot be accepted when one realizes that current temples are emblazoned by the same Masonic and occult symbols. The Portland Temple doors have two of the largest pentagrams within the temple system)

Another development in the Nauvoo Church, which has not been so obviously considered as Masonically inspired, was the establishment of the Female Relief Society. This organization was the prophet's intentional attempt to expand Masonry to include the women of the Church. That the Relief Society was organized in the Masonic Lodge room and only one day after Masonry was given to the men, was not happenstance. included in the actual vocabulary of Joseph Smith's counsel and instructions to the sisters were such words as: a ancient orders, examinations, degrees, candidates, secrets, lodges,rules, signs, tokens, order of the priesthood , and keys, all indicating that the Society's orientation possessed Masonic overtones.

. I suggest that enough evidence presently exists to declare that the entire institution of the political kingdom of God, including the Council of Fifty, the living constitution, the proposed flag of the kingdom, and the anointing and coronation of the king, had its genesis in connection with Masonic thoughts and ceremonies. It appears t that the Prophet first embraced Masonry, and then in the process, he modified ,expanded, amplified, or glorified it.. The prophet believed that his mission was to restore all truth and then to unify and weld it all together into one. This truth was referred to as 'the Mysteries,' and these Mysteries were inseparately connected with the Priesthood. Can anyone to deny that Masonic influence on Joseph Smith and the Church, either before or after his personal Masonic membership? The evidence demands comments.. There are many questions which still demand the answers.. If we, as Mormon historians, respond to these questions and myriads like them relative to Masonry in an ostrich-like fashion, with our heads buried in the traditional sand, then I submit:

there never will be any help for the widow's son. (as cited in Changing World of Mormonism, Jerald and Sandra Tanner, 1981, pp. 546-547).

The Masonic Lodge was established in Nauvoo on March 15, 1842 and Joseph was installed as grand chaplain. A short time later, Joseph called seven of his leading men together and instructed them "in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys " which Joseph said instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days." Soon afterwards, Masonic rituals began to appear as part of he Mormon Temple ceremonies.

The men were stripped, washed, anointed and then, a in he Masonic ceremony, dressed in a special 'garment' which was held together with strings. The Masonic square and compass were cut into the garment on the breast and a slash was made across the knee. deep enough to penetrate the flesh. There was also a slash in the garment across the abdomen, symbolic of the disemboweling that would be the fate of anyone who revealed the sacred secrets. After swearing to an another of secrecy the initiate was dressed in white robes and permitted to witness a long allegorical dram a depicting the creation and the fall of Adam( website)

The Nauvoo "old style " garment (c1842-1975) was partially described by Ebenezer Robinson (who had once served as the editor of the Mormon newspaper Times and Seasons in his periodical The Return Vol II (April 1890), 252:

"As early as 1843 a secret order was established in Nauvoo, called the HOLY ORDER, the members of which were of both sexes, in which, we credibly informed, scenes were enacted representing the garden of Eden, and that the members of the order were provided with a peculiar under garment called a robe. 'It was made in one piece. On the right breast is a square, on the left a compass, in the center a small hole, and on the knee a large hole.' This was the description of the garment as given to the writer in Nauvoo, in Joseph Smith's lifetime. It was claimed that while they wore this 'robe' no harm could befall them."

Increase McGee Van Dusen, who described the Nauvoo temple endowment ceremony in 1847, mentioned that the garment was a "tight fit" and only remembered the Priesthood marks of the square and a compass-mistakenly stating the latter was on the knee. A description attributed to Elizabeth Warren Allred, who had been hired by the prophet Joseph Smith to cut out the garment pattern,intimated that the Marks of The Holy Priesthood were originally stitched in red:

It was while they were living in Nauvoo that the Prophet came to my mother,who was a seamstress by trade and told her that he had seen the Angel Moroni with the garments on, and asked her to assist in cutting out the garments. They spread unbleached muslin out on the table and he told her how to cut it out. She had to cut the third pair, however, before he said it was satisfactory. She told the prophet that there would be sufficient cloth from the knee to the angle to make a pair of sleeves, but he told her he wanted as few seams as possible and that there would be sufficient whole clothe to cut the sleeve without piecing. The first garments were made of unbleached muslin and bound with turkey red (thread ) and were without collars.

Later on the prophet decided he would rather have them bound with white. Sister Emma Smith, the Prophets' s wife, proposed that they have a collar on as the thought they would look more finished, but at first the prophet did not have the collars on them. After Emma Smith had made the little collars, which were not visible from the outside of the dress, Sister Eliza R. Snow mad ea collar of fine white material which was worn on the outside of the dress. The garment was to reach to the ankle and the sleeves to the wrist. The marks were always the same."( website)

The fact that the garments have been abbreviated is very interesting ,for the early Mormon leaders taught that they could not be changed. President Joseph F. Smith declared before the changes were made:

The Lord has given unto us garments of the holy priesthood, and you know what that means. And yet there are those of us who mutilate them, in order that we may follow the foolish, vain and (permit me to say) indecent practices of the world. In order that such people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to their own virtue, next to their own purity of life. They should hold these things that God has given unto them sacred, unchanged and unaltered from the very pattern win which God gave them. . Let us have the moral courage to stand against the opinions of fashion, and especially where fashion compels us to break a covenant and so commit a grievous sin. (The Improvement Era, vol. 9:813, as quoted in Temples of the Most High, p. 276)

In 1918 the First Presidency of the church sent a message to the bishops in which the following appears:

FIRST : The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white,and of the approved pattern; they must not be altered or mutilated, and are to be worn as intended, down the wrist and ankles, and around the neck. Please inform all to whom you issue recommends that these requirements are imperative. The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from heaven, and that the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized changes made in their form, or in the manner of wearing them (Messages of the First Presidency, By J. R. Clark, 1971, vol. 5, p. 110)

Although the Mormon leaders vigorously maintained that the "garments" must be "worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankles, and around the neck,"and that they could not be altered from "the very pattern with which God gave them," women's fashions caused the arms and legs to be shortened and the neck line to be lowered. Until 1975, however, the Mormon leaders still required that members of the church wear the "old style" garments when they were taking parting the temple ritual. After the temple ceremony was over,members of the church would replace those garments, which came down to the wrists and ankles, with the abbreviated type . ( website)

(Thanks to Dennis and Rauni Higley for the use of this material from their class.)
Masons Removed The Physical Penalties From Their Ritual In 1986 - Four Years Before The Mormon Church Did The Same In The Temple Ceremony
Wednesday, Apr 25, 2007, at 07:39 AM
Original Author(s): Tahoe Girl
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
Following is the link for the site which states that: "The much publicized ‘traditional penalties ’ for failure to observe these undertakings were removed from the promises in 1986. They were always symbolic not literal and refer only to the pain any decent man should feel at the thought of violating his word."

Also: "When Masonic ritual was developing in the late 1600s and 1700s it was quite common for legal and civil oaths to include physical penalties and Freemasonry simply followed the practice of the times. In Freemasonry, however, the physical penalties were always symbolic and were never carried out. After long discussion, they were removed from the promises in 1986."

So did the mormon church again copycat Masonry by removing these penalties from the temple ritual 4 years after the Masons removed them? It makes you wonder.
General Authority Testimony / Denial - And The New Masonic Lodge Grand Master
Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Saul
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
New Utah Masonic Lodge Grand Master, LDS member Glen Cook, had some fascinating things to say about how disturbing facts are resolved in the devout LDS mindset. Since there has been a recent discussion on how General Authorities can possibly believe, given their level of access to disturbing facts, this is very enlightening.

For the Article, go to:,...

Grand Master Cook states:
"There is no question that elements of the (LDS temple) endowment and Masonic ritual are similar," Cook said. "The question for faithful Latter-day Saints is whether that makes a difference. I tend to be a rather concrete thinker."
First, he acknowledges that there are specific similarities between the Masonic ritual and the LDS Temple Endowment ritual, and then he provides the escape route that typifies General Authority treatment of these disturbing connections.

He continues:
“For those who accept Joseph Smith as a prophet and believe he actually saw God and Jesus Christ in vision as a precursor to restoration of Christ's ancient church, "then the rest, I would suggest, should be a corollary" of that belief.”
Isn’t this exactly how General Authorities respond to disturbing information? “Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus so everything else, no matter how disturbing, is corollary to that belief”. The word corollary is THE PERFECT term to use here. For everything to corrolate to the first vision (which if true, is indisputably the most important event since the resurrection, if that is true) then there can NEVER be a challenge to the core gospel claims.

You might claim that Joseph became a fallen prophet at some later time (which Michael Quinn and David Whitmer claim), but the Book of Mormon Holds. You might claim that the latter part of Joseph’s revelations are suspect (which most of the witnesses and early apostates held), but the restoration holds. You can drop the Book of Abraham, the law of polygamy, the melchizedek priesthood. You can admit to bank fraud, occult practices, deceptions and deflections. You can toss out a host of problems and disturbing facts, and admit that they are all suspect. In fact, as Grand Master Cook (and a host of General Authorities) readily admit, you can even state that Joseph borrowed the temple ritual from freemasonry, and the center continues to hold. Joseph saw God and Jesus, so the restoration is valid, and the Book of Mormon is from God (even if you have to stretch the meaning of translation, even if you have to yield on issues of geography, anthropology, linguistics, DNA, and history). It is pure GENIUS to arrive at this foundational fall-back position. THAT is how General Authorities retain their testimony. They rely on a truth that cannot be refuted. Joseph saw god and jesus. How do they know? They personally asked god and jesus, and got warm fuzzies. EVERYTHING ELSE is COROLLARY.

Finally, Grand Master Cook provides what I think ought to be the LDS church explanation of temple rituals, even with a bit of humor kicked in:
"Freemasonry should be an adjunct to your faith and not a barrier to its exercise," Cook said. "I tell people that the only secrets we have are modes of recognition and the passwords. For those, you have to look on the Internet."
That is exactly what is secret (oh, sorry, I meant sacred) about LDS temple rituals: “Modes of recogntion and the passwords.” How better to describe what is never discussed, even among members, when speaking of the temple. You can hear references to every single temple covenant (obedience, sacrifice, chastity, and consecration) in routine sacrament meeting talks. You can hear references to the sealing promise, washing and annointing, proxy baptism. But you will NEVER hear any reference to the “Modes of recogntion and the passwords.” Never.

Fascinating insights from a faithful LDS Grand Master.
This Is For Those Wanting To Understand The Meaning Of The Temple Signs, Penalties And Tokens
Tuesday, May 6, 2008, at 07:09 AM
Original Author(s): Odell Campbell
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
I finally understand the temple signs!

I regularly attended the temple, was a temple worker, and studied the scriptures, but I never knew or understood the meaning or significance of the temple penalties (pre-1990) or the signs.

After leaving the church, I learned that Joseph Smith copied the ceremony from the Freemason ceremony he was introduced to seven weeks prior.

Now I understand the meaning of all those silly signs etc.

I have been reading a book by historian John J. Robinson, entitled “Born in Blood” The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry.” Despite its unfortunate title, the book is well researched and well written. Mr. Robinson is an expert on the 14th and 15th centuries. In researching the Peasant Rebellion, he believes that a secret organization that planned the rebellion was the remnants of the Knights Templar and the predecessor of Freemasonry. By his own admission, the connection is completely speculative, but the book is full of good and interesting history of Europe and the Vatican during the 1300’s through the 1500’s.

During the book, the author describes signs and tokens of Freemasonry as a clue to its origins (presumably to the Knights Templar).

Robinson describes in details those signs and penalties. Apparently Joseph Smith lacked the good sense to include the allegorical tale of Hiram Abish and only stole the Masonic tokens and penalties.

For those of you who wanted to understand what the signs, tokens and penalties meant, I give you further Light and Knowledge.

After expressing his willingness to take the oath, the candidate, still blindfolded, is guided into the proper position for an Entered Apprentice. He kneels on his bare left knee, with his right leg ahead of him in the angle of the square. In front of him on the altar is the holy book of his faith, open, with the compass and square on the open book. In the Entered Apprentice ceremony, the square is on top of the points of the compass.

The candidate places his left hand under the book, palm up, while his right hand is on top of the compass and square, palm downward. In this position, he takes the first of the oaths that has brought so much criticism down on the Masonic institution.


Upon the completion of the oath, the candidate is instructed to kiss the holy book, as a token of his sincerity. He is then asked what it is that he desires most to which the proper answer is, “light.” At this response, the blindfold is removed and the secrets of the Entered Apprentice are revealed to him. Among these are the hand grip and the two hand signs. One is the penal sign, which recalls the penalty “to have my throat cut across,” as the hand, thumb inward, is drawn quickly across the throat, then dropped to the side. The other sign repeats the position in which the hands were placed under and on the holy book when taking the oath: left palm up, right palm down, hands about two inches apart.

pp. 206-207.

After being guided to the ceremony, passing around the large room from station to station, the candidate once again finds himself before the altar, still blindfolded, where he takes the oath of the second degree. He is guided into a position that has him kneeling on his bare right knee. His right hand is on the compass and square on the Bible, while his left hand is raised with his upper arm, horizontal and his forearm vertical, thus forming a square. Once again, the Master of the lodge assures him that the will not interfere with his duty to God or country.


After taking the oath, the blindfold is removed and the new Fellow Craft is taught the handgrip and password of this degree. He is also taught the penal sign, which calls to mind the penalty of having the heart plucked from his breast; he is shown how to move his flat right hand across his left breast, then let it drop to his side. As with the first degree, the due-guard of the Fellow Craft repeats the positions that his hands were in as he took the oath: the right hand in front of him waist high, palm down (as he held his hand on the Bible and compass and square), and his left arm raised, forming a square.

pp. 211-213.

After brief ceremonies similar to those of the first two degrees, the candidate is ready for the administration of the oath of the Master Mason, which the Master of the lodge once again assures himm will not interfer with any duty which he owes to his God, his country, or his family. The candidate is on his bare knees in front of the altar, with both palms down on the Holy Bible, on top of which the compass and square have been placed, with both legs of the compass above the square. The oath may vary considerably in precise wording from place to place because of its history of maintenance by verbal communication only, but everywhere are the essential point are the same.

After brief ceremonies, the blindfold is removed, and the newly sworn Master Mason is taught several secrets of that degree. He learns the penal sign, the hand signal based on the penalty of the Master Mason’s oath, which is to pass the hand in a slashing motion, palm downward and the thumb toward the body, across his stomach. The due-guard of he Master Mason repeats the position of his hands on the Holy Bible and the compass and square as he took the oath: with his upper arms along his sides, forearms out straight, with palms down. To this point, the ceremony is much like that of the first two degrees, but now is added a third sign, the Grand Hailing Sign of Distress of the Master Mason, given with the upper arms parallel to the ground, forearms vertical with hands above the head, palms forward.

pp. 215-217.

Finally, Solomon says that he will try, personally, to raise a body from the grave by using the “Lion’s Paw,” the grip of the Master Mason. Applying the grip (and assisted by several members of the lodge), he raises the candidate’s body to a vertical position and arranges that the candidates right foot is inside the right foot of Solomon, their knees pressed together, the left hands on each other’s backs, with a mouths close to each other’s ears. In some jurisdictions, the Worshipful Master, as King Solomon, whispers to the candidate the Master’s word mahabone and has him whisper the word back, cautioning the new Master that the word must only be passed in this position called the “five points of fellowship.” As the newly raised Master Mason learns the Master’s word, the blindfold is removed.

Stepping back, the Worshipful Master explains that the five points of fellowship are: Foot-to-foot, to indicate that a Master Mason will go out of his way, on foot if necessary, to assist a worthy brother; Knee-to-Knee, as a reminder that in his prayers to the Almighty, the Master Mason remembers his brother’s welfare as well as his own; Breast-to-Breast, as a pledge that each Master Mason will keep in his own breast any secrets of a brother when given to him as such, murder and treason excepted; Hand-to Hand, because a Master Mason will always be ready to reach out his hand to support a brother and to defend his character and reputation behind his back, as well as his face; and Mouth-to-Ear, because a Master Mason will always endeavor to caution and to give good advice to an eering brother in the most friendly manner, pointing out his faults and giving him timely counsel so that he may ward off approaching danger.

pp 221-222.
My Experience In Free Masonry
Wednesday, Feb 25, 2009, at 12:39 PM
Original Author(s): Brock Sampson
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
I mentioned in a recent thread that as part of my investigation into Mormonism, that I had joined the Free Masons, and that I am familiar with both sets of rituals and their similarity. Another poster asked for some additional information on the subject, so here you go!

(I would like to add a disclaimer: I am just an average-joe Free Mason. I'm still pretty new to the Fraternity and I don't know everything. I'm pretty much just gonna give you my take and exerience. If there are any other Free Masons out there who would like to correct me, please feel free to do so!)

How I became interested in Free Masonry

It started on my mission in South America. There was a Masonic Temple in one of my areas and it had a big square and compass with the letter "G" in the middle of it. When my companion pointed it out to me, I was like "Hey, that's our symbols! What are they doing with them?". Little did I know that they had them first, and we were the ones that were stealing!

I started asking around some of the other missionaries, who didn't really know much more than I did. I do remember getting some printed out pages from someone that had some really cryptic stuff on it, and it didn't really answer any of my questions.

When I got home, I started looking into it a little more. Looking online, etc... Back then I felt like I was doing something wrong when I was reading about their temple rituals, because I felt like I was betraying Mormonism.

I saw the movie "From Hell" that was about a theory that Jack the Ripper was a Free Mason. I remeber being pretty shocked by the Masonic ritual that was shown in that movie, again because I felt like it was similar to Mormonism.

Mormon Explanation

The more I spoke to people about the issue, I got some common explanations. The most common was that Free Masons were in possesion of the apostate temple ritual, and that Joseph Smith restored the true ritual. I have found that this is what most mormons who are aware of the Free Masonry believe and that this is most likely what Joseph Smith felt as well, although it isn't documented very well.

There are a few problems with this theory. First of all, if that were true, it would stand to reason that there would be no need for Mormons to continue in Free Masonry. Most of the leaders during the Nauvoo period of the church became active participants in Masonry, and after they came to Utah as well, Brigham Young continued to petition the Grand Lodge in England to allow them to start a Lodge in Salt Lake. The truth is that most of them were proud Masons for the rest of their lives. They certainly didn't act like it was something to be discarded because of the Mormon temple rituals.

Secondly, while it was a common belief in Joseph Smith's time, that Free Masonry actually was founded in biblical times, the earliest that Free Masonry can be traced to historically is the 1700's. Most students of Masonry believe that it comes from medieval stone mason guilds.

There is a theory with some interesting evidence that purports that Masonry was created when the Knights Templars went into hiding. If that is the case, then it could be possible that the Knights Templars did have access to documents from King Solomon's time, but this is tenuous at best. There is no evidence that the Temple in King Solomon's time had any rituals similar to Free Masonry, and even if they did, it is highly implausible that the Knights Templars would have been able to restore it.

Serious Investigation

A fellow LDS coworker and I began discussing Free Masonry after reading DaVinci code. We started reading some books on it and decided to take a tour of the Salt Lake Masonic Temple (which is free and I highly recommend to anyone that is interested). We also got in touch with a local LDS Free Mason who we started meeting for lunch to answer our questions. At this point, we both kinda said "it's ok to be a Mason and a Mormon, why not!". We both started by just being curious, but when we were done, we felt like it was an interesting group with a rich heritage of founding fathers and church leaders that were members. We both decided to join.

After investigating, we both came to the conclusion that the explanation that we had both come to believe wasn't true. We both realized that Joseph Smith obviously used the Masonic ritual as a template for the Mormon ritual. We both felt that it would be dishonest to try to deny that, but we also felt that Joseph Smith could still have been inspired to use the Masonic ritual as a template, and that he still could be a prophet. (I have since come to the conclusion that he was just a man, but my buddy is still a believer.)

The Rituals

There are 3 degrees in ancient Free Masonry: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason. These are the rituals whose beginnngs are lost to history. There are many other degrees that have since been added (Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, etc...), but the history of these additional rituals can be traced. What you need to remember is that once you are a "Master Mason" (3rd degree), you are essentially the same level as someone who then goes on to do all the rest of the degrees. They are still just a Master Mason.

When you go through the degrees, you first go through the Entered Apprentice ritual. It takes a few hours for the whole process. When we went through, my buddy went first while I waited in the lobby. After about an hour, it was my turn. This is one of the places where it differes from Mormonism. Each person goes through it alone. After going through the ritual there is a lesson that is associated with the ritual where we are instructed by an officer of the lodge. Then it's over and all the guys go and hang out and have some food and drinks. Most of the guys had beers, but there were a few Mormons in the group who didn't drink. It basically takes an entire evening to go through the process. Before you can move on to the next degree, you have to memorize the dialog from the entire ritual and pass it off with your "coach". Once you can do that, you are ready for the next degree. It took me over a year before I went through all 3 degrees.

Similarities with Mormon Temple Ritual

When I went through the Masonic rituals, I was still a (somewhat) believing Mormon. The similarities I saw didn't convince me that Joseph Smith was lying, only that he used them to teach the endowment. This reasoning differs greatly from the following quote from Brigham Young:

"Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell."

After you go through the Masonic rituals, you see that the signs, tokens, and words are identical, and that honest investigation shows that the Masonic rituals are not the apostate temple ritual. So you have a conundrum. Either Joseph Smith used free masonry as a template or it is the apostate temple ritual. That may be a little bit of a false dichotomy, I guess Brigham Young could have been speaking as a man... but I digress...

Anyway, here's what I can honestly say is similar between the rituals. Most of the hand shakes are the same, some of the signs are identical, and the penalties (before they were removed from LDS temples) are identical. The pattern and repetition are very similar, and the phrasing and rythm of the dialog is very similar.

Free Masonry feels much more "old". It was also much more focused around a single individual going through the rites alone, to become part of the rest of the group.

Final Thoughts

(This was a lot longer than I had anticipated!) It wasn't Free Masonry alone that made me leave Mormonism. It was definately a big part of the process, but mostly because I tried to look at it objectively instead of trying to justify my beliefs. Like I said, there are many Mormons who are Free Masons. In fact, the "Grand Master" of Free Masonry in Utah (for 2008) was a current Stake President. If he is able to reconcile the two, then I don't think most Mormons would have a problem.

I have since come to the conclusion that Mormonism isn't true. I am still in the process of sorting it all out. As for Free Masonry, I haven't been very actively involved since I passed off my Master Mason degree. Mostly because I have been busy, but I never joined with the intention of becoming extremely involved. I was mostly curious, and I found that I thought that it was a worthy group of guys.

As with the mormon temple, I actually enjoyed the process of going through the "secret" ritual. I felt like I had done something that many people haven't done. Joining a secret club so to speak. Neither set of rituals "freaked me out". (Although, I could see how either set of rituals could freak out someone who wasn't prepared).

Well, I know that that was pretty long, and I'll be surprised if anyone actually reads through all that! But if you do and you have any questions for me, I would be happy to answer.
Masonic Ceremony Prior To LDS Endowment
Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009, at 07:41 AM
Original Author(s): Excultmember
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
Does anyone know much about the changes to the Masonic ceremony prior to the one Joseph Smith based his Endowment ceremony on?

Mormons and their Apologists, who are familiar with the fact that the Endowment ceremony is related to the Masonic ceremony, claim that the Masons stole the ceremony from the ancient ceremony as performed in Israel instead Joseph Smith stealing it from Masonry. Obviously there is no evidence for this besides the old Masonic tradition that Freemasonry descended from ancient times (though recent Masonic historians have admitted this is just a myth).

I came across Brent Metcalfe's article "Whence and Whither the Five Points of Fellowship?" website

It shows that the LDS endowment resembles the recent Joseph Smith era Masonic ceremony instead of the one used in the 1700's and giving the changes in the Five Points of Fellowship as an example. Obviously if the Masonic ceremony descended from the original Endowment, the earlier 18th century Masonic ceremony should more closely resemble the LDS Endowment than the latter 19th century one.

This article is the only source that I'm aware of that covers this matter in any detail. The article is rather short and only compares the Five Points of Fellowship. Are there any detailed versions of the Masonic Ceremony before William M. Morgan's expose or any other studies of this done besides Metcalfe's article?

I would think so, or there should be, because it's pretty damning to the Mopologists' claim that the Masonic ceremony came from the ancient endowment instead of the other way around.
Mormons Claim The Temple Ceremonies Are Divine, Not Derived From Masonry
Monday, Oct 26, 2009, at 07:52 AM
Original Author(s): Gorspel Dacktrin
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
I ask them to think about it this way.

We know about the similarities between the secret handshakes and bloody oaths of secrecy used in Masonic rituals on one hand and the secret handshakes and bloody oaths of secrecy used in the Mormon temple on the other hand (some of which continued to be a main feature of Mormon temple worship all the way up to 1990).

When you take a bloody oath, accompanied by pantomiming the way in which your life will be taken from you (e.g., throat slitting and disembowelment) if you reveal the special handshakes ("signs" and "tokens") of your organization, we are definitely talking about keeping secrets. So the lame TBM spin that the temple ritual is "sacred not secret" is not persuasive.

As indicated above, we know that the Mormon temple ritual included the handshakes and throat-slitting/disembowelment pantomimes up until 1990.

We know that the LDS Church was established by Joseph Smith during the peak years of the Anti-Masonry movement, the geographical center of which was in--you guessed it--the very area of New York in which Joseph Smith lived.

We know that William Morgan published his expose of Masonry and its rituals in New York just a few years before the Book of Mormon was published and the LDS Church was organized.

We know that William Morgan's widow later became one of Joseph Smith's "plural" wives.

We know that secret handshakes, secret passwords and bloody oaths to protect the secrets fit perfectly in the context of a secret organization that seeks to give advantages to its members through secret networks and where membership and the obligation of members to provide secret assistance to other members sometimes are communicated through handshakes and passwords that non-members are unaware of.

We know that secret handshakes, secret passwords and bloody oaths seem completely out of place in a religious organization that ostensibly teaches about love, openness and truthfulness in all things, while condemning "secret combinations" and "secret societies".

We know that it's absurd to think that the omniscient god and creator of all the universe needs to rely on a clumsy system of secret handshakes and passwords to determine who can pass the veil into his heavenly sanctuary.

So, now that we have the proper context in mind, I ask the TBM who is claiming that the Masons plagiarized their rituals from the original temple rituals to honestly think about it and then tell me whether the secret handshakes, passwords and bloody oaths of secrecy more likely originated within the bowels of a secretive private society such as the Freemasons who seek to secretly profit from their membership in the fraternity or whether it is more likely that the secret handshakes, passwords and bloody oaths of secrecy originated in a religious tradition that preached of universal access to god's love and salvation and also preached of opposition to secret societies/combinations and opposition to murder.

If the TBM then still tries to pretend that it makes more sense that the secret handshakes, passwords and oaths were part of some original temple ceremony predicated on the idea that god needs you to give him the right handshake and password in order to get past the bouncers posted at the gates of heaven, then I know that I'm dealing with a fundamentally dishonest apologist.

Incidentally, when it comes to the infiltration idea, it makes more sense to think of the LDS Church as a creation of Freemasonry from the beginning, rather than as an organization that was "infiltrated." All of the top leaders of the founding generation of the LDS Church were Freemasons. Brigham Young used to proudly sport his Masonic pin on his vest. (There is a famous photo of Brigham Young where you can see in some later reprints that the original photo was retouched to remove the pin.)
Did The Freemasons Mess Up And Corrupt The True Temple Ordinances?
Monday, Nov 2, 2009, at 08:15 AM
Original Author(s): Gorspel Dacktrin
Topic: MASONS   -Link To MC Article-
And did Joseph Smith restore the true temple ordinances, in all their glory and deep layers of inspirational meaning?

This is what many Mormons would like to have us believe when faced with the irrefutable similarities between the rituals of the Freemasons and the "endowment" rituals performed in LDS temples (similarities that even include identical handshakes, bloody oaths and the costumes and aprons that are worn).

But think about what the endowment ritual consists of: secret handshakes, secret codewords, oaths of secrecy backed up by acting out one's own execution in gruesome ways that go far beyond the "cross my heart and hope to die" oaths made by kids in secret tree house clubs.

What is the natural habitat of such tools of secrecy and secret associations? Do they better fit in the context of a secret society whose members are pledged to use their positions of power, wealth, etc., to build up the power and influence of the secret society by rendering secret assistance to fraternity members?

Or do secret handshakes, passwords and oaths of secrecy make more sense in the context of worshipping an omnipotent, omniscient god who obviously has no need for such tools?

We know about the similarities between the secret handshakes and bloody oaths of secrecy used in Masonic rituals on one hand and the secret handshakes and bloody oaths of secrecy used in the Mormon temple on the other hand (some of which continued to be a main feature of Mormon temple worship all the way up to 1990).

When you take a bloody oath, accompanied by pantomiming the way in which your life will be taken from you (e.g., throat slitting and disembowelment) if you reveal the special handshakes and codewords ("signs" and "tokens") of your organization, we are definitely talking about keeping secrets. So the lame TBM spin that the temple ritual is "sacred not secret" is not persuasive.

As indicated above, we know that the Mormon temple ritual included the handshakes and throat-slitting/disembowelment pantomimes up until 1990.

We know that the LDS Church was established by Joseph Smith during the peak years of the Anti-Masonry movement, the geographical center of which was in--you guessed it--the very area of New York in which Joseph Smith lived.

We know that William Morgan published his expose of Masonry and its rituals in New York just a few years before the Book of Mormon was published and the LDS Church was organized.

We know that William Morgan's widow later became one of Joseph Smith's "plural" wives.

We know that secret handshakes, secret passwords and bloody oaths to protect the secrets fit perfectly in the context of a secret organization that seeks to give advantages to its members through secret networks and where membership and the obligation of members to provide secret assistance to other members sometimes are communicated through handshakes and passwords that non-members are unaware of.

We know that secret handshakes, secret passwords and bloody oaths seem completely out of place in a religious organization that ostensibly teaches about love, openness and truthfulness in all things, while condemning "secret combinations" and "secret societies".

We know that it's absurd to think that the omniscient god and creator of all the universe needs to rely on a clumsy system of secret handshakes and passwords to determine who can pass the veil into his heavenly sanctuary.

So, now that we have the proper context in mind, I ask any TBMs who claim that the Masons plagiarized their rituals from the original temple rituals to honestly think about it and then tell me whether the secret handshakes, passwords and bloody oaths of secrecy more likely originated within the bowels of a secretive private society such as the Freemasons who seek to secretly profit from their membership in the fraternity or whether it is more likely that the secret handshakes, passwords and bloody oaths of secrecy originated in a religious tradition that preached universal access to god's love and salvation and also preached of opposition to secret societies/combinations and opposition to murder.

With regard to any TBM who knows all this and still tries to pretend that it makes more sense that the secret handshakes, passwords and oaths were part of some original temple ceremony predicated on the idea that god needs you to give him the right handshake and password in order to get past the bouncers posted at the gates of heaven, then I know that I'm dealing with a fundamentally dishonest apologist.

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