Mormonism and Freemasonry

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Mormonism and Freemasonry

Summary: This summary page contains bibliographic references for various electronic and print items that discuss -- or are related to -- the 'Mormonism and Freemasonry' issue. The materials that are listed here represent a variety of opinions that are held by Latter-day Saints on this topic. They also represent differing levels of review and publication processes and divergent degrees of documentation.

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"It has always been commonly reported, and to a great extent believed, that the mysteries of the Endowment House were only a sort of initiation…of the rites of Masonry; but I need hardly say that this statement when examined by the light of facts, is altogether ungrounded and absurd.”
— Fanny Stenhouse, Nineteenth Century Anti-Mormon Author[1]


Relationship between Freemasonry and temple ceremonies

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Relationship between the Endowment and Freemasonry

Summary: Important note: Members of FairMormon take their temple covenants seriously. We consider the temple teachings to be sacred, and will not discuss their specifics in a public forum. Some critics of Mormonism see similarities between the rites of Freemasonry and LDS temple ceremonies and assume that since Joseph Smith was initiated as a Freemason shortly before he introduced the Nauvoo-style endowment he must have plagiarized elements of the Masonic rituals. This viewpoint leads them, in turn, to conclude that the LDS endowment is nothing but a variant form of Masonic initiation and therefore not from a divine source.

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The use of ritual in gospel ordinances

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The ordinance versus the ritual used to present the ordinance

Summary: Important note: Members of FairMormon take their temple covenants seriously. We consider the temple teachings to be sacred, and will not discuss their specifics in a public forum. Critics of Mormonism often confuse an ordinance with the manner in which the ordinance is administered. They therefore claim that changes to the presentation of the ordinance are not allowed.

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Freemasonry and the Book of Mormon

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The Gadianton robbers and Freemasons

Summary: Some claim that the Gadianton robbers are thinly disguised references to the anti-Masonic panic of Joseph Smith's era. Joseph's contemporaries did not embrace the "obvious" link between the Book of Mormon and masonry. Proponents or opponents of Masonry simply tended to blame their opponents for Mormonism. Given Joseph Smith's long family involvement with the institution of Freemasonry and the fact that he would, in 1842, become a Mason himself, it seems unlikely that anti-Masonry was the "environmental source" of the Gadianton robbers found in the Book of Mormon. The members of his day likewise had little enthusiasm for anti-Masonic sentiments.

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Involvement of Latter-day Saint Church leaders in Freemasonry

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Joseph Smith's involvement in Freemasonry

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Brigham Young's involvement in Freemasonry

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Symbolism in Mormon temples

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Claims made by critical books, videos and websites related to Mormonism and Freemasonry

Review of "Search for the Truth" DVD section on Joseph Smith's character

Summary: FairMormon responds to claims made in the "Search for the Truth" DVD regarding Joseph Smith's character: "Joseph Smith's Character: The Occult"

Claim by the critical website MormonThink.com that the endowment came from freemasonry

Summary: FairMormon responds to a claim made by the critical website MormonThink that "The temple endowment ceremony would not have come from the Masonry rituals that began in the middle age."

Response to claims made in One Nation Under Gods, "Chapter 2: Moroni, Magic, and Masonry"

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Notes

  1. Mrs. T.B.H. [Fanny] Stenhouse, "Tell It All": The Story of a Life's Experience in Mormonism (Hartford, Conn.: A.D. Worthington & Company, 1875 [1874]), 354.