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Mormon temple rituals and other things were not the result of "divine
revelations", but were simply plagiarized from Scottish Rite
High level defectors of the Mormon Church began revealing the Temple
rituals in the 1970's. This culminated in the movie The God Makers
which showed the actual rituals performed in the temple. The grips,
passwords, and tokens, were lifted straight out of Scottish Rite
Masonry. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were both 32nd Degree Masons, which
explains the source of the “revealtion”. There also numerous other
similarities. Both Mormons and Masons have Melchezedic and Arronic
Priesthoods, both square their arms during acts of blessing (i.e., when
Mormons seal a grave for instance), both Mormons and Masons fold their
arms during prayer, and both have symbols in common, such as the square
and compass (Mormons have it on their temple garments) and the
beehive. Since Smith stole these things from Masonry, he was a
An Excerpt From The Book The Changing World of Mormonism
by Gerlad and Sandra Tanner
The Temple Ceremony and Masonry
Apostle Bruce R. McConkie says the ordinances
performed in the temple "were given in modern times to the Prophet
Joseph Smith by revelation, many things connected with them being
translated by the prophet from the papyrus on which the Book of Abraham
was recorded" (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p.779).
We have already shown that the papyri have nothing
to do with Abraham or his religion. Now that it is plain that these
papyri are pagan documents, Mormons must look elsewhere for the origin
of the temple ceremony. It seems clear that at least part of the temple
ritual came from Freemasonry. In fact, the similarities between the
temple ceremony and the ritual of the Masons are very striking.
Joseph Smith Becomes a Mason
Although Joseph Smith's early writings are filled
with material that condemns secret societies, the presence of the
Danite band among the Mormons indicates that by 1838 his attitude
toward secret societies had changed. After Joseph Smith went to Nauvoo,
he became a Mason, formed the Council of Fifty, and established the
secret temple ceremony. Mormon Apostle John A. Widtsoe admitted:
Many of the Saints were Masons, such as Joseph's brother Hyrum, Heber
C. 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. In answer they were granted permission, in October,
1841, to hold lodge meetings; but it was March 15, 1842, before
authority was given to set up a lodge in Nauvoo and to induct new
members. Joseph Smith became a member (Evidences and Reconciliations, 1
The following statement is recorded in Joseph
Smith's History of the Church, volume 4, page 551, under the date of
March 15, 1842: "In the evening I received the first degree in Free
Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office."
The record for the very next day reads: "I was with the Masonic Lodge
and rose to the sublime degree" (vol. 4, p.552).
The Mormons who joined the Masonic Lodge soon found
themselves in trouble with other members of the fraternity. They had
inducted large numbers into the fraternity and had departed from some
of the "ancient landmarks." Finally, the Masons refused to allow the
Mormons to continue "a Masonic Lodge at Nauvoo" (Mormonism and Masonry,
by S. H. Goodwin, p.34).
Although Joseph Smith found himself in trouble with
the Masons, he is said to have given the Masonic signal of distress
just before he was murdered. Mormon writer E. Cecil McGavin stated:
When the enemy surrounded the jail, rushed up the stairway, and killed
Hyrum Smith, Joseph stood at the open window, his martyr-cry being
these words, "O Lord My God!" This was not the beginning of a prayer,
because Joseph Smith did not pray in that manner. This brave, young man
who knew that death was near, started to repeat the distress signal of
the Masons, expecting thereby to gain the protection its members are
pledged to give a brother in distress (Mormonism and Masonry, by E.
Cecil McGavin, p.17).
On page 16 of the same book, Mr. McGavin quotes the
following from the Life of Heber C. Kimball, p.26: "Joseph, leaping the
fatal window, gave the Masonic signal of distress."
In Utah the Masons will not allow a Mormon to become
a member of their fraternity because of the things that happened in
Nauvoo. One of the most important reasons for this ban is that they
feel Joseph Smith stole part of the Masonic ritual and included it in
his temple ceremony.
Masonic Ritual in the Temple Ceremony
The relationship between the Mormon temple ceremony
and Masonry is too close to be called a coincidence. The fact that both
Mormons and Masons have a temple in which they administer secret
ceremonies is striking, but when we compare the ritual and learn that
Joseph Smith was a Mason, we are forced to the conclusion that he
borrowed from Masonry in establishing his temple ceremony.
In our study we have had access to two books which
give the Masonic ritual. They were reprinted by Ezra A. Cook
Publications, Inc., Chicago, Illinois. The first is Capt. William
Morgan's Freemasonry Exposed, which was first published in 1827. (It
should be remembered that the author of this book disappeared and that
this set off the great controversy concerning Masonry.) The second is
Richardson's Monitor of Free-Masonry. This book was published some time
after Morgan's expose, but it is important because it gives some of the
"higher degrees" not mentioned by Morgan.
In our book Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? pages
486-89, we present twenty-seven parallels between the ritual of the
Masons and the Mormon temple ceremony. We will include these parallels
here, although we will not give the documentation to prove each
parallel as we did in our larger work. Because some of the details of
the temple ceremony have been changed in recent years, we are using the
pamphlet Temple Mormonism—Its Evolution, Ritual and Meaning, New York,
1931, to make our comparison.
1. Both the Masons and the Mormons have what is
called "the five points of fellowship."
The five points of fellowship are given by putting the inside of the
right foot to the inside of the Lord's, the inside of your knee to his,
laying your breast close to his, your left hands on each other's backs,
and each one putting his mouth to the other's ear, in which position
the Lord whispers:
Lord—"This is the sign of the token:
"Health to the navel, marrow in the bones,
(Temple Mormonism, p.22)
He (the candidate) is raised on what is called the five points of
fellowship ... This is done by putting the inside of your right foot to
the inside of the right foot of the person to whom you are going to
give the word, the inside of your knee to his, laying your right breast
against his, your left hands on the back of each other, and your mouths
to each other's right ear (in which position alone you are permitted to
give the word), and whisper the word Mahhah-bone ... He is also told
that Mahhah-bone signifies marrow in the bone (Freemasonry Exposed,
2. When the candidate receives "The First Token of
the Aaronic Priesthood" he makes a promise similar to the oath taken in
the "First Degree" of the Masonic ritual.
... we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of
the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty.
Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and
our tongues torn out by their roots (Temple Mormonism, p.18).
... I will ... never reveal any part or parts, art or arts, point or
points of the secret arts and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry ...
binding myself under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across,
my tongue torn out by the roots.... (Freemasonry Exposed, pp.21-22).
3. In both ceremonies the thumb is drawn across the
throat to show the penalty.
4. Those who receive the "First Token of the Aaronic
Priesthood" give a grip that is similar to that used by the Masons in
the "First Degree" of their ritual.
5. Some of the wording concerning the "grip" is
(. . . Peter now takes Adam by the right hand and asks:)
Peter—"What is that?"
Adam—"The first token of the Aaronic Priesthood."
Peter—"Has it a name?"
Peter—"Will you give it to me?"
Adam—"I can not, for it is connected with my new name, but this is the
sign" (Temple Mormonism, p.20).
The Master and candidate holding each other by the grip, as
before described, the Master says, "What is this?"
Ans. "A grip."
"A grip of what?"
Ans. "The grip of an Entered Apprentice Mason."
"Has it a name?"
Ans. "It has."
"Will you give it to me?"
Ans. "I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it."
(Freemasonry Exposed, pp.23-24).
6. The oath of the "Second Token of the Aaronic
Priesthood" is similar to that taken in the second degree of Masonry.
We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the
secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its
accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to
have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our
bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field
(Temple Mormonism, p.20).
I.... most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear.... that I will not
give the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason to any one of an inferior
degree, nor to any other being in the known world.... binding myself
under no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open and my
heart and vitals taken from thence ... to become a prey to the wild
beasts of the field, and vulture of the air ... (Freemasonry Exposed,
7. Both have a similar sign.
The sign is made by placing the left arm on the square at the level of
the shoulder, placing the right hand across the chest with the thumb
extended and then drawing it rapidly from left to right and dropping it
to the side (Temple Mormonism, p.20).
The sign is given by drawing your right hand flat, with the palm of it
next to your breast, across your breast from the left to the right side
with some quickness, and dropping it down by your side ... (Freemasonry
8. Both have a similar grip.
9. In both cases a "name" is used.
10. The promise made when receiving the "First Token
of the Melchizedek Priesthood" resembles the oath given by the Masons
in the third or "Master Mason's Degree."
11. The sign of the penalty is similar in both cases.
12. In both cases a "name" is used.
13. The conversation at the "veil" in the temple
ceremony is very similar to that of the "Fellow Craft Mason" when he is
questioned concerning the "grip."
Lord—"What is this?"
Endowee—"The second token of the Melchizedek Priesthood—The Patriarchal
Grip or Sure Sign of the Nail."
Lord—"Has it a name?"
Lord—"Will you give it to me?"
Endowee—"I can not for I have not yet received it." (Temple Mormonism,
... "What is this?"
Ans. "A grip."
"A grip of what?"
Ans. "The grip of a Fellow Craft Mason."
"Has it a name?"
Ans. "It has."
"Will you give it to me?"
Ans. "I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it."
(Freemasonry Exposed, p.54).
14. Both the Masons and the Mormons have a vow
15. The grip known as "The Sign of the Nail" seems
to be similar to one given by Masons in one of their higher degrees.
16. The "Oath of Vengeance" which used to be found
in the Mormon temple ceremony resembles an oath in one of the higher
degrees of Masonry.
17. Both Mormons and Masons change clothing before
going through their rituals.
18. Both Mormons and Masons use an apron.
19. In one of the higher degrees the Masons anoint
the candidate. This is somewhat similar to the anointing ceremony in
the Mormon temple ritual.
20. Both Mormons and Masons give what they call a
"new name" to the candidate.
21. In the Mormon temple ceremony the candidate
cannot pass through the veil until he has given certain signs and
words. In the Royal Arch Degree the Masons use veils. The "Principal
Soujourner" cannot enter the Third Veil except "By the words, sign, and
word of exhortation of the Master of the Second Veil" (Richardson's
Monitor of Free-Masonry, pp.76-77).
22. In the Mormon temple ceremony a man represents
The Masons also have a man who personates Adam in the degree of "Knight
of the Sun."
23. In the Mormon temple ceremony a man represents
God. In the Mason's Royal Arch Degree a man "personates the Deity."
24. Both the Mormons and the Masons consider the
square and the compass to be extremely important. The marks of the
square and the compass appear on the Mormon temple garments and on the
We now have the veil explained to us. We are told that it represents
the veil of the temple. The marks are the same as those on the
garments—the compass on the left and the square on the right side
(Temple Mormonism, p.22).
"... the three great lights in Masonry are the Holy Bible, Square and
Compass ... the Square, to square our actions, and the Compass to keep
us in due bounds with all mankind ... (Freemasonry Exposed, pp.22-23).
Even a Mormon writer, E. Cecil McGavin, is willing
to admit that "Mormon temple clothing contain certain marks of the
priesthood, including the square and compass" (Mormonism and Masonry,
25. In the Masonic ritual the point of the compass
is pressed against the left breast of the candidate. The Mormon temple
garment has the mark of the compass on the left breast.
"The marks are the same as those on the garments—the compass on the
left ... (Temple Mormonism, p.22).
"The candidate then enters, the Senior Deacon at the same time pressing
his naked left breast with the point of the compass ... (Freemasonry
26. The angle of the square is pressed against the
right breast in the Masonic ritual. The mark of the square appears on
the right breast of the Mormon temple garment.
" ... the square on the right side ..." (Temple Mormonism, p.22).
"As he enters, the angle of the square is pressed hard against his
naked right breast ... " (Freemasonry Exposed, p.50).
27. A mallet is used by both the Masons and the
Mormons in their ceremonies.
Other parallels between the Mormon temple ceremony
and the Masonic ritual could be shown, but these should be sufficient
to demonstrate to the reader that Joseph Smith borrowed from the Masons
when he established the endowment ceremony.
Mormon writer E. Cecil McGavin is willing to admit
that there are some similarities between Mormonism and Masonry:
The Mormons, the American Indians, the ancient Essenes, and the early
Druids are not the only ones who have "Masonic" symbols and practices
in their rituals.... other fraternal orders have their secret signs,
grips, tokens, and passwords. The Masons certainly have no monopoly on
that vast field of ritual and symbolism ... the Masonic ritual embraces
a few features that resemble the rudimental ceremonies of the Temple
endowment, yet these few points of similarity are largely restricted to
the rituals pertaining to the Aaronic priesthood (Mormonism and
Masons who visit the Temple Block in Salt Lake City are impressed by
what they call the Masonic emblems displayed on the outside of the
Yes, the "Masonic emblems" are displayed on the walls of the Temple—the
sun, moon, and stars, "Holiness to the Lord," the two right hands
clasped in fellowship, the All-seeing eye, Alpha and Omega, and the
beehive. Masonic writers tell us the Mormon Temple ritual and their own
are slightly similar in some respects.
Without any apologies we frankly admit that there may be some truth in
Yes, the public is entitled to an explanation of these mysteries and
coincidences (Ibid., Preface).
Mormon apologist Dr. Hugh Nibley has admitted
concerning Mormonism and Masonry: "Among the first to engage in the
Latter-day Temple work were many members of the Masons.... whose rites
present unmistakable parallels to those of the temple" (What Is A
Temple? BYU Press, 1968, p.247).
Since many members of the Mormon church were Masons
and were familiar with its ritual, Joseph Smith must have realized that
he would be accused of stealing the ceremonies from Masonry. In what
was apparently a move to offset this criticism, Joseph Smith claimed
that Masonry once had the true endowment and that it had become
corrupted through the passage of time. 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
"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" (The Salt
Lake Herald, December 29, 1919, as cited in Mormonism and Masonry, by
S. H. Goodwin, pp.49-50).
Mormon writer E. Cecil McGavin agrees:
Yes, there may be some similarities in the rituals ... In the light of
the evidence supplied by Masonic historians, the conclusion is forced
upon us that some of the features of the ritual once administered in
Solomon's Temple have persisted in Masonry....
Since some of the Masonic ritual has descended from Solomon's time,
altered and corrupted by the passing centuries, should one be surprised
to find a few similarities when the Temple ritual is again established?
If the facts were available and the original sources extant, it would
doubtless be apparent that everything in the ritual of the Mormons that
the Masons say was taken from their ceremonies, dates back to Solomon's
time (Mormonism and Masonry, pp.192-94).
William J. Whalen replied in rebuttal to McGavin's
McGavin accepts the most fanciful claims to antiquity put forth by such
discredited Masonic historians as Mackey, Anderson and Oliver. These
early Masonic writers were wont to claim Solomon, Adam, and most of the
upright men of the Old Testament as early lodge brothers. Modern
Masonic historians date the origin of the lodge in the early eighteenth
century and recognize that these pioneer speculative Masons simply
adopted the story of the building of Solomon's temple as a dramatic
background for their initiations....
A few elements in modern Masonry here and there can be traced to the
medieval guilds of working masons, but no one with a scholarly
reputation would try to maintain that the degree system as it is worked
now—and as it was worked in Nauvoo in 1842—could have possibly been
derived from Solomonic rites (The Latter-day Saints in the Modern Day
Historically there seems to be only one logical
explanation for the many parallels between the temple ceremony and
Masonry, and that is that Joseph Smith borrowed from the Masons. The
reader should remember that it was on March 16, 1842, that Joseph Smith
"was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree" (History of
the Church, vol. 4, p.552). Less than two months later (May 4, 1842),
Joseph Smith introduced the temple endowment ceremony. According to
Joseph Smith's History of the Church, vol. 5, pp.1-2), it was in the
same room "where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally":
Wednesday, 4.—I spent the day in the upper part of the store, that is
in my private office ... and in my general business office, or lodge
room (that is where the Masonic fraternity meet occasionally, for want
of a better place) in council with General James Adams.... Brigham
Young and Elders Heber C. Kimball and Willard Richards, instructing
them in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to
washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys
pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so on to the highest order of
the Melchisedek Priesthood....
One woman who was questioned concerning the temple
ceremony gave this testimony:
A.—... I said I received endowments in Nauvoo, in the Masonic Hall....
All the ceremony was performed in the Masonic Hall. The washing was
done in the Masonic Hall, and the anointing with oil.
Q.—What furniture was in the Masonic Hall at the time the endowment was
A.—... if you are expecting me to tell you all about the particulars of
what was there in the way of furniture and what was done
there, you must not expect me to do it any more than you would expect a
Mason or an Odd Fellow or any other member of a secret society to
reveal the secrets of their order ... (Temple Lot Case, pp.353-54).
With this very close connection between Mormonism
and Masonry, it is almost impossible to believe that Joseph Smith did
not borrow from Masonry in establishing the temple ceremony.
The Mormon leaders find themselves faced with
several embarrassing questions regarding the temple ritual and Masonry.
Many members of the church wonder how they can believe in a secret
temple ritual, when the Book of Mormon condemns all secret societies,
bands and oaths. In fact, it plainly states that "the Lord worketh not
in secret combinations" (Ether 8:19).
Further, there is the question of why Joseph Smith
would become a Mason. Besides all of the statements in the Book of
Mormon which condemn secret societies, Joseph Smith joined with four
others in stating: "We further, caution our brethren, against the
impropriety of the organization of bands or companies, by covenants,
oaths, penalties, or secresies.... pure friendship, always becomes
weakened, the very moment you undertake to make it stronger by penal
oaths and secrecy" (Times and Seasons, vol. 1, p.133).
Benjamin F. Johnson claims that Joseph Smith told
him that "Freemasonry was the apostate endowment." Why would Joseph
Smith join an organization that he believed was in a state of apostasy?
Mormon leaders now claim that it is not right for
members of the church to join the Masons or other secret societies.
Anthony W. Ivins, who was a member of the First Presidency, counseled
that "The Mormon Church ... advises its members to refrain from
identifying themselves with any secret, oathbound society... It is
difficult to serve two masters and do justice to both" (The
Relationship of "Mormonism" and Freemasonry, p.8).
Joseph F. Smith said that those who "are identified
with these secret organizations" are "not fit to hold" important
offices in the church (see Mormonism—Shadow or Reality? p.491).
John A. Widtsoe added: "The activities of the
Church, in all departments are sacred, not secret. This point of view
makes it difficult for Latter-day Saints to look with favor upon
secret, oath-bound societies.... Sometimes they cause loss of interest
in Church duties, for no one can serve two masters with equal
interest.... Divided allegiance is always unsatisfactory and
often dangerous" (Evidences and Reconciliations, vol. 1, pp.213-14).
It is interesting to note that the same Apostle who
made these statements against secret societies had to reverse himself
and write a chapter entitled, "Why Did Joseph Smith Become a Mason?" He
claimed that Smith joined the Masons to win friends among "the
prominent and influential men of the state" so that the church would
not be persecuted, but he had to admit that "the attempt to win
sufficient friends through Masonry to stop persecution failed" (Ibid.,
vol. 3, pp.114-17).
Joseph Smith's own words about "the impropriety of
the organization of bands or companies, by covenant or oaths, by
penalties or secrecies" could certainly be used against the Mormon
temple ceremony. Apostle Widtsoe, however, maintains that "the temple
endowment is not secret. All who meet the requirements for entrance to
the temple may enjoy it" (Ibid., p. 24). John A. Widtsoe's reasoning
with regard to this matter is very poor. All secret societies allow
their own members to participate in their rituals. The Mormon temple
ceremony is kept secret from outsiders, and, after all, isn't this what
makes a secret society? Many members of the Mormon church maintain that
the temple ceremonies are sacred and not secret. The Mormons, of
course, have a right to believe that their ceremonies are sacred, but
this does not change the fact that they are secret. They are just as
secret as the ceremonies of any other secret society.
At any rate, the connection between Mormonism and
Masonry can be briefly summarized as follows:
1. Both Mormonism and Masonry have secret ceremonies
that are performed in secret temples.
2. The "Masonic emblems" are displayed on the walls
of the Mormon temple.
3. The Mormon temple ritual is similar in many
respects to that used by the Masons.
4. Joseph Smith and many of the most prominent
members of the Mormon church were also members of the Masonic lodge.
5. Temple ceremonies were actually performed in the
Reed Durham, who has served as president of the
Mormon History Association, has carefully examined the parallels
between Mormonism and Masonry. Although Dr. Durham still maintains that
Joseph Smith was a prophet, he has to admit that Masonry had a definite
influence upon 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 when his older brother became a Mason.
Hyrum received the first three degrees of Masonry in Mount 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 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 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 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....
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: 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.
It was true that in orthodox Masonry,... the inclusion of women was
definitely prohibited and certainly unheard of.
The Joseph Smith Masonry was daily becoming less orthodox
and tended to follow more in the direction of some unorthodox Masonry
which had been imported to America from France. In this type of
Masonry, two different women's groups operated....
The second type of unorthodox female Masonry was known as 'Adoptive'
Masonry... The ceremonies for women in this order were quite similar to
those later found within the endowment ceremony of the Mormons.... 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 that
the Prophet first embraced Masonry, and, then in the process, he
modified, expanded, amplified, or glorified it.... I believe he
accepted Masonry because he genuinely felt he recognized true Ancient
Mysteries contained herein.... 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 inseparably connected with the Priesthood.... Can anyone
deny that Masonic influence on Joseph Smith and the Church, either
before or after his personal Masonic membership? The evidence demands
There are many questions which still demand the answers.... if we, as
Mormon historians, respond to these questions and myrids [sic] 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" (Mormon Miscellaneous, October, 1975,
Although Mormon apologists would have us believe
that Joseph Smith received the temple ceremony by revelation "from
God", the evidence is against it and clearly shows that he borrowed
heavily from Masonry. After careful examination of the temple ceremony,
we have come to the conclusion that it bears unmistakable evidence of
being a man-made ritual. 1
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