Question: Was Brigham Young a Mason?

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Question: Was Brigham Young a Mason?

Yes. Brigham Young, along with many other men in Nauvoo, joined the Masons at Joseph Smith's encouragement

Photo of Brigham Young. The Masonic symbol of compass and square is clearly visible in the pin he wears. Matthew B. Brown notes that "Brigham may have worn the [Masonic] pin [visible in some photographs] in order to remind other Americans that he was part of a brotherhood that was bound by oath to look after its own (see Wilford Woodruff Journal, 19 August 1860)."[1]

Yes. Brigham Young, along with many other men in Nauvoo, joined the Masons at Joseph Smith's encouragement.

When the Latter-day Saints occupied Nauvoo, Illinois, in the year 1842, there were approximately four thousand residents inside the city limits (twelve thousand by 1844),1 but only thirty people in the general area had membership in the Masonic fraternity. Among this small group were such notable men as Hyrum Smith (the Prophet’s brother), Heber C. Kimball (an Apostle), John Smith (the Prophet’s uncle), Newel K. Whitney (a bishop), and George Miller (another bishop)....

There is no evidence that Joseph Smith played a direct role in trying to get a Masonic lodge established among the Saints, though it must be admitted that the Masons adhered to principles that would have been especially attractive to the leader of a frequently (and recently) persecuted people. “Freemasonry is one of the strongest binding contracts that exists between man and man,” said Elder John Taylor of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.10 And according to Apostle and Master Mason Heber C. Kimball, a member of that society could expect other Masons to step forward in time of need to render assistance. These fraternal brothers were expected to be faithful to each other “in every case and under every circumstance, the commission of crime excepted.”....

[On] 7 April 1842 [Joseph attended the] initiation of Brigham Young.

[On] 9 April 1842 [Joseph attended the further] initiation of Samuel Smith, William Smith, Brigham Young, and Willard Richards.[2]


Notes

  1. Matthew B. Brown, Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons (American Fork, UT: Covenant, 2009), Kindle edition, location:2259-2260n109..
  2. Matthew B. Brown, Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons (American Fork, UT: Covenant, 2009), Kindle edition, location:896-1013.