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Joseph Smith was a Mason - so what?

I address this subject as a courtesy to Barbara, a visitor to my blog who asked me to do so. Thank you Barbara, for the suggestion. I had forgotten that this is a problem for some people. Critics claim that Joseph Smith borrowed heavily from Freemasonry for the ceremony of the temple endowment. I'm not convinced that he didn't, but it's not a big deal.

A fraternal organization

Freemasonry is a fraternal organization, not a religious movement.
A fraternity is a men's club, whose members emphasize their brotherhood. Similar organizations are Elks, Oddfellows, Lions, Kiwanis, and Rotary. It arose from obscure origins in the late 16th to early 17th century. Masonry includes a constitutional declaration of belief in a Supreme Being. In other words, you can't be an atheist and be a Mason.

Joseph Smith's father was a Mason long before Joseph was and so was his brother Hyrum. It was common for men to join this organization as a means to improve their social standing in the community and to obtain business contacts. There are five million Masons today, and about two million in the United States. There have been and still are a lot of famous men who are Masons.

For example, many presidents of the United States were Masons including George Washington, Andrew Jackson, James Monroe, James Polk, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Gerald Ford. Many kings of England were Masons. So were Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Mark Twain, John Wayne, Roy Rogers, Douglas Fairbanks and Jesse Jackson.

Joseph Smith and John C. Bennett

In 1840, at the start of the Nauvoo period, Joseph was encouraged to start a Masonic lodge by John C. Bennett, a recent convert and prominent physician. Bennett quickly rose to a position of power and influence in the church, becoming a Counselor in the First Presidency, mayor of the city of Nauvoo, General of the Nauvoo Legion, and the chancellor of the University of Nauvoo.

Bennett was a scoundrel, who was excommunicated from the church after it was revealed that he was teaching and practicing adultery, which he called "spiritual wifery," claiming that it was authorized by Joseph Smith. Any seminary student who paid attention in class soon realized that he was one of the blackest characters in the early Nauvoo period of LDS Church history.

But for the two year period of time of 1840 to 1842, he was influential in introducing the young prophet to Masonry and instructing him in the rituals and symbolism of the fraternity. Joseph Smith became grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons. Many of the LDS leaders and brethren of the church were also active Masons during this time.

The temple and Freemasonry

On May 4, 1842, the prophet instructed the priesthood "in the principles of and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments, and the communication of keys pertaining to the Aaronic Priesthood, and so onto to the highest order of the Melchizedek Priesthood...." (History of the Church, 5:1). This was the beginning of the temple endowment.

There are some obvious similarities between Mormon temple ritual and symbolism and the stories and symbols of Freemasonry. Mormon temple worship has similar symbols, signs, and clothing with the fraternal order. Is it a coincidence that these symbolisms were introduced and incorporated into the temple ceremony so soon after Joseph was instructed in Freemasonry?

The goals of Masonry and the LDS endowment are not the same. In the view of the LDS Church, both teach important truths, but the truths they teach are different. Masonry is not a religion. The temple endowment, on the other hand, teaches of man's relationship to God in LDS Church belief, and Latter-day Saints consider it to be essential for exaltation in the world to come.

Endowment received by revelation

After Joseph had learned the details of the rituals and teachings of the fraternal order, he went to the Lord in prayer and received revelation in regards to the correct order and purpose of the endowment. What he presented to the Lord was what he had learned from John C. Bennett. What he received from the Lord was the restored endowment, evidence of his prophetic calling.

He then put together a makeshift temple in the upper room of his store so that it represented the interior of a temple as well as circumstances would permit. Joseph introduced the Nauvoo Endowment ceremony to nine men including his brother Hyrum, William Law, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, William Marks, Newel K. Whitney and two others.

Joseph wrote that the endowment was "to be received only by the spiritual minded: and there was nothing made known to these men but what will be made known to all the Saints of the last days, so soon as they are prepared to receive, and a proper place is prepared to communicate them, even to the weakest of Saints: therefore let the Saints be diligent in building the Temple."

Summary and conclusion

So was the endowment borrowed from Freemasonry? You'll have to decide that for yourself. I contend that it was received by revelation. I figured that out way back in Seminary. I felt it was right at the time I was first exposed to it and have found no reason to change my opinion over the years. This was only confirmed when I studied the subject again in Institute classes.

I am convinced that I have had a major advantage in growing up in the church in that I got to attend seminary and institute classes where church history was taught as part of our study of the Doctrine and Covenants. I love our church history. It is exciting and wonderful to review. My approach to studying our history is to look for the hand of the Lord in how it came about.

You can read the story of how we got the endowment in a sinister light if you want. You can read all kinds of things into it that simply are not there, including what some who oppose the work of the church have written about it. It is wonderful that we are given the ability to read and study these things out and then take it to the Lord in prayer for a confirming witness of the truth.

For additional information

1. Jeff Lindsay - Questions About the LDS Temple Ceremony and Masonry

2. FAIR - Similarities between Masonic and Mormon Temple Ritual

3. SHIELDS - The Relationship of "Mormonism" and Freemasonry by Pres. Anthony W. Ivins


Anonymous said…

I appreciate your even addressing the concerns that I put forth regarding the connection between Mormonism and Freemasonry. However, upon linking to your sources, I was discouraged, although I guess not surprised, that your research was limited to L.D.S. writers. You already have it in your mind, apparently since taking seminary in high school, that any perceived problems have been nicely answered, so any contrary information will be thrown out without further investigation. This is the problem. What do you expect them to say?

To put it succinctly, Mormonism is on trial for its claim of being the only true church on earth, for its claim that all other churches are wrong, and for its claim Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. One of the topics that is discussed to disprove the church's claims is its inclusion of Masonry into its temple ceremonies. To counter any negative claims, you cite L.D.S. writers. That's like asking a defendant on the stand whether he committed a crime and then not putting any other witnesses on the stand. Of course, he's going to say no and, without benefit of other imput, one could only come to the conclusion that the defendant is innocent even if he's not.

This is my last response in this dialogue because I don't think you want to discuss the issue despite all your rhetoric to the contrary. I see nothing more than your bearing your Mormon testimony to other people's explanations of the issue. I again ask that you spend a month or so, doing honest research, not two days copying and pasting L.D.S. articles, asking God to show you the truth.

I will be praying for you in Jesus' name.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for this brief overview of the connection between the Church and Masonry. I tend to follow the same view you do, that the endowment was given by revelation to Joseph Smith, perhaps as an inquiry after having participated in the rites of the Masons. I believe the Masons have a corrupted form of the endowment, and the Lord restored the true form in the temple today.
Anonymous said…
By the way, I once had a discussion about this at
Anonymous said…

Sorry, I need to quickly clarify something. The debate on the table is not whether Smith was a Mason, even your writers acknowledge that but, rather, the explanations they give to support the claim that it was not only no big deal but something from God. The question that you need to answer in your research is, What is Masonry? Your writers give a lot of verbage and irrelevant inormation as they tap dance around the roots, beliefs, and practices of this society, which preceeded Mormonism. As I suggested, watch those videos, and I think you will get a different perspective.
Anonymous said…

You might want to rethink/rewrite this post as it leaves (for me, an active Mormon), more questions than answers.

1) In the second paragraph you claim that Freemansonry is a fraternal organization and then in the 11th paragraph you claim that J.S. took the (corrupted) Masonry teachings to the Lord and He corrected them. This infers that Masonry contains the (corrupted) Truth and hence is religious.

2) You never answer your own question in paragraph nine.

3) I wouldn't come down too hard on Bennett:
Tim Malone said…
Hi Barbara,

Thanks for clarifying the proposed objective of the study, to discover what Masonry is. I guess I'm not too interested in really learning more about Freemasonry. Some claim that it qualifies as a secret society. I propose that the purposes of a secret society are to overthrow something, as in the Gadiantan robbers. I don't see that as one of the goals of the Masons, especially since I know that someone out there is the head of the Salt Lake Masonoic lodge and is a very active and vocal Latter-day Saint. Good for him.

Yes, you are correct. I did not view the videos you referenced. I know this is going to sound like a cop-out, but right now, I would rather spend my reading and viewing time on other things that I find more interesting and exciting. I don't always know what that is until I read what is bothering others who visit my blog. So maybe I will view those videos within the next month or two. Thanks again for the links in your comments on my other post where this dialog started.

I like what you said about Mormonism being on trial. For some reason, it reminds me of three old books from Robert and Rosemary Brown from back in the 80's, They lie in wait to deceive. They were some of my favorites in my apologetic readings back then. They mentioned the idea of the church being on trial. Wasn't there another book or video entitled, The trial of the stick of Joseph?

Anyway, much love your way from me. I appreciate your visits to my blog. I can tell you are an intelligent woman and I really would like to read some of your writings. If your comments here are any indication, I'll bet they were well thought out and well presented. Let me know if you ever decide get a blog. Maybe you could start with the three points you made about our claims for which we are on trial.

Isn't blogging great? I get to put my testimony out there as many times a day as I want for the whole world to read. If my stuff isn't interesting, readers won't come back. But it sure helps me to study the gospel. I am impressed that blogging is strengthening my testimony as I dig even more into the doctrines that I love so much.

Yes, I love this church and I love the doctrines of the restored gospel. I'm sure I'm making some mistakes in the way I am presenting them to others. That's why I always point to more authoritative sources. Please stop by and add your comments where I overstate my position or mis-state something. I can use all the critics I can get. Yes, I mean that. What good is sharing the gospel if you can't explain it intelligently?

S.Faux said…
I wanted to make a response to Anonymous who posted at 9:33 AM:

1) Masonry has a lot of religious overtones, even though it is a non-denominational organization. It is not a religion, but it is religious.

2) You cite Tim's question, "Is it a coincidence that these symbolisms were introduced and incorporated into the temple ceremony so soon after Joseph was instructed in Freemasonry?"

My answer would be that Joseph Smith was highly influenced by many aspects of his environment, including Masonry. There is no such thing as a true Prophet who is not influenced by his environment.

3) As to the reference to Fanny Alger, I would refer you to Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 323-327. Bushman makes it very clear that there are few documented conclusions one can make.

Joseph was a Prophet, NOT a substitute for Jesus. However, even Jesus was influenced by Judaism. Masonry is really just a footnote -- a small footnote. It is FAR from the center of Mormonism, the gospel, Joseph, or much of anything else in the LDS world.
Tim Malone said…
Thanks to S.Faux for excellent comments clarifying the points made by anonymous. I would also like to add a few additional clarifications. I would hope that what I write would never cause an active Mormon any difficulty or cause to question.

A visit to the freemasonry web site linked to in my first paragraph, clearly indicates at the top what their organization claims to be:

"Freemasonry is the oldest and largest world wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members, however, to be faithful and devoted to their own religious beliefs."

S.Faux stated it clearly for me but I will add some additional opinion here. It is possible that Masonry did indeed contain some corrupted truth about the symbols, signs and clothing. Who really knows where they got them? Reading the writings of others regarding their history, one comes away with the impression that they were discovered from ancient Egyptian writings that referred to the Temple of Solomon.

However, even the Masons today clearly acknowledge that their teachings are presented in an allegorical setting. Freemasonry uses tools and implements of the stonemason as metaphors for symbolically teaching moral and ethical lessons on the principles of "Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth" - all allegorically based on the building of King Solomon's Temple. Perhaps someone who is a Mason can add more light on this.

So yes, Masonry is of a religious nature, but not a religion. I'm not sure why the point is being made. I don't see it as pertinent to the story here. The point I was trying to make with this essay is that Joseph was very probably influenced by what he learned in Freemasonry as a catalyst for receiving the revealed endowment.

Let me be clear and certain. I fully and firmly believe that the LDS Temple Endowment was received as revelation by the Prophet Joseph Smith. And based on the Mormon principle of being a spiritual witness, I will say that I know that this is the case. Thirty-two years of participation in the LDS temple ceremonies have confirmed this to my soul over and over too many times to feel otherwise.

As to your second point about my question in paragraph nine being unanswered, it was my intent that paragraph eleven would provide the answer. That paragraph is the heart of the essay. No, it is not a coincidence. I think it is clear that Joseph was influenced by his experience in Freemasonry just a few short months before the temple endowment was revealed. I refer you to Rough Stone Rolling, p 449:

"The Nauvoo endowment was first bestowed just six weeks after Joseph's induction [into Freemasonry]. The similarities were marked enough for Heber Kimball to quote Joseph saying that Freemasonry 'was taken from priesthood but had become degenerated but many things were perfect.' Joseph often requested revelation about things that caught his attention."

An finally, in regards to point three, S.Faux has already referred to pages 323-327 of Richard Bushman's book, Rough Stone Rolling. On page 437 the story of plural marriage resumes with Bushman stating clearly that Joseph married Fanny Alger. If it wasn't already clear in the earlier pages where the whole episode is discussed, this statement summarizes it for me. Joseph was married to Fanny. He did not commit adultery with her as she was not married before 1836.

John C. Bennett, on the other hand, clearly took the revealed practice of plural marriage and twisted it to something that it was not intended to be - his concept of spiritual wifery. Perhaps we can continue this dialog after I write my post on the wives of Joseph Smith. This is a delicate subject that has bothered many people in and out of the church for a long, long time. It can wait a few days.

In the meantime, I simply would not place what John C. Bennett did in the same category of Joseph's stated purpose in entering into plural marriage - to fulfill the commandments of God as revealed to him while translating the Bible back in 1831. Joseph did not commit adultery. He clearly wanted Oliver to confirm that. Oliver knew better and was wrong to let anyone think he implied otherwise.

I hope I have clarified a few things for you. As I stated in the beginning of this comment, I never want anything I write in my blog to give a believing, practicing Mormon any cause to doubt or question. Please let me know if I have left any of your questions unanswered. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on this post about something that S.Faux has pointed out is NOT the central theme of the message of the restoration.
IRAQ said…
First of all, I want to say that I like your blog with its thoughtful input.

As a missionary in Brazil, my mission President (a convert and the first black 2nd quorum of the 70), Helvecio Martins was a former Mason and this topic got kicked around alot back in the day. My wife and I have dug into this one, as well.

For me it is very simple - and it is the same question that always comes up about our doctrine as the only church of a "restorationist" nature where we claim not to have "new wine put into old bottles" but to have "new bottles", etc where others are either from the mainline religion that departed from the new testament church to the point that there is little resemblance to structure, doctrine and priesthood type and authority. The only other option is belonging to a group that protests the doctrines and beliefs of the main body. We claim that our church is the same as the church that existed when Christ was upon the earth and that the ancient church (other than sacrifice by the shedding of blood as a type and foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice) is the same basic organization that existed with the earlier peoples of the earth (house of Israel). In other words, the answer to the chicken and egg argument (in regards to the temple ceremony) is that it was always here and practiced by ancients (including those at Qumran) in the day when the original temple was built by Solomon by those of the "masonic" guild. In order to build the temple, they had to have the higher priesthood with its endowment given to them and thus were initiates to what every one who possessed the higher priesthood had. This knowledge, like everything was watered down through apostasy over hundreds of years and then was lost to history and then re-obtained when the Knights Templar escavated Jerusalem during a crusade to re-Christianize the Holy Land.
Through a series of events, this was taken back to Europe and then spread to the U.S., etc. where Joseph Smith happened onto it and asked questions and was given the answer that we know as our modern temple endowment. I have studied just enough of the Masons (even got a Junior Achievement award and dinner in their 'endowment room' unbeknownst to me at the time) that I know that they have portions of the truth and that it definitely based off of the original 'masons union' that was given this sacred info in order to qualify in the building of the temple. Thus the name, the builder's symbols, and the most striking is their two pillars Boaz and Joachim still used in their entry way to the building - same as the two bronze pillars of Solomon's Temple.

As always, the Church is accused of imitating something that already existed - when all I want to say is thank you very much for noting the obvious - and then asking the question, would you like to be part of the restored original, or would you like to continue with the cheap and mostly unrecognizable knockoff that you are currently part of? I prefer fresh earthenware myself, thank you very much.

Hope I have not offended anyone - but I had to jump in here and throw my two cents in. Glenn Beck and many others attend our Sacrament Meetings and have felt something unusual and special and that has motivated them to make changes in their lives to be a part of that. I go to the Temple and that same Spirit is there - but ten fold. I have a deep and abiding knowledge that the Temple IS The House of the Lord because of that very Spirit that resides there. I will not even go into the spiritual experiences that I have had that further cement that witness. It is the 'Lord's University' for those that prepare themselves spiritually. Many people have a spiritual "grade school" education and choose those who have seen the beauty of learning and seek higher education.

Unfortunately, for many who choose to throw stones at things they know not of, they cannot even comprehend because they will not take the first step forward in faith. The gospel is truly line upon line and precept on precept until we all come to a full knowledge in Christ.

I sometimes come across as arrogant in how I speak but I truly love all men and my only desire is that they find the truth that makes my life and joy full and gives it meaning and full purpose.

I am not trying to be rude by not replying but my time is limited. I hope this reply sparks further study and learning.
Unknown said…
I an a less active convert to the church and am working on revitalizing my faith. My wife, also a convert and not active as far as church attendance, was watching a program on Free Masons and I told her that Joseph Smith was a Mason. I know very little about this but I thought that such teachings could go back to Solomon's temple or ancient times and have been lost until Joseph Smith got revelation to put it all together again as it should be. It just seemed logical to me. Truth is truth. Lots of world religions have an enormous amount of truth. I don't know if I am correct but the show lead me to Google and thus to this site.
Cecilly said…
Thank you for that! I am a member (going to BYU for goodness sakes), but didn't grow up ever really knowing much about church history, and I was reading on Masonry and read about some correlation to "Mormons". Knowing it was likely a cynical manner, I googled (yes, that's a verb) "LDS Joseph Smith Mason", and came upon your blog. So thank you! It answered my questions, and I am very grateful for what you had to say.
I know there is still so much to understand (I'm one of those freshmen;) ), but I am grateful for people like you who help discern truth and skepticism.
Thanks again!
Unknown said…
What a slippery slope of speculation! Where do you draw the line? Wait a second! To answer that question you need logic and reason; after all that’s what you are all doing right now (trying to reason with yourselves why?)

I married many women because God told me, therefore its ok? However, I married many women, because it was consensual, therefore it’s not ok? I killed a man because God told me, therefore its ok? The most dangerous story in the bible is Abraham attempting to sacrifice Isaac. Why? Because it diminishes all logic and reason. But one would argue, “God wants us to see if we will do all things that he commands, while not tempting us more than we can bare”. So the ultimate celestial test is to do something that every logical “fiber of your being” says not too? Well then, that means smokers are going straight to heaven? Be carful I understand well the hole in this statement, but it requires logic to rebuttal. So I will ask again, where do you draw the line? Oooohhhh… need logic and reason to answer that question.

Do you really think God is going to condemn Gandhi for proclaiming, “I believe in the fundamental Truth of all great religions of the world. I believe they are all God given and I believe they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom all one and were all helpful to one another.” - M K Gandhi

There is a constant pressure on officials, church leaders to be "methodical, prudent, disciplined” But it's easy to go too far, to the point where "adherence to the rules ... becomes transformed into an end-in-itself" and "primary concern with conformity to the rules interferes with the achievement of the purposes of the organization.

Is it possible that Mormons have become the very thing they try not to be, “As the Scribes & Pharisees”

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mathew 7:21-23

It’s a bit silly that Mormons use this scripture all the time to use in their favor.

Remember, Joseph Smith said that God told him to join none of the other churches because their harts were far from him. God did not say “Join none of them, because their rituals are corrupt and they have not the authority.” If authority was so important, wouldnt that be a main point? But of course, I have to throw away all logic!
Rogue said…

I want to thank you for all your comments on the topic, same thing just stumbled opon this from google.
I am an active member of the LDS Church. That cleared all this up about my questions. I can now enjoy attending the temple and feel Great about what i am doing now that i know it was through revelation and prayer that Joseph smith was led the right way. I too have to stand up for what i believe. Its great to know that there are sources like blogs to help answer such questions. I Know that when i Pray i do recieve an answer that the Book of mormon is true and through faith as well. And i know Joseph smith was a amazing man and restored the Gospel to us in our day. I enjoyed reading all the comments and I hope we can all lay this topic to rest now we know why. Thanks
J- said…

I stumbled accross this blog tonight/this morning (1am) so I apologize in advance for typos. I am an excommunicated member with a background in history and religous texts. I desire to regain my membership because of the testimony I have gained while out. While I was out I have learned much about J.S. and his Masonic ties through a book (Mormons and Masons)

Mason's are widely misunderstood and some confuse them with a controlling elite class illuminati type, this is not so. A few others have made good points about the origins of masonary and solomons temple so I will let this rest.

I greatly enjoy your blog and will come back soon to read more, thanks again!

Nadine Hays said…
I have been studying this topic a lot recently. Here is what my opinion is on the matter:

First, we always need to be VERY careful when we talk about any group of people. In every group of people there will always be some that are good and some that are evil.

I have talked with individuals that are much more versed on this than myself and they have made the statement that when a Mason holds a position above the 30th degree, that some pretty "ugly" actions start to happen. Rituals that are not of God are performed. Terrible things happen to innocent people.

Evil is indeed of Satan, and often times he accomplishes his goals by working in a group that appears to be good, or at least claims to be good. Secret combinations are NOT good. Things are "secretive" for a reason, and I have found that it is generally because there is something "not so good" that people are trying to hide.

My husband was in DeMolay. His father was a Mason. They are both wonderful men. I believe people are sucked into the Mason lifestyle as they search for a "place to belong". It sounds like a good thing. All I have to say is that if one feels or hears anything that is not of God, get out fast and stay out.

I believe that Joseph Smith joined the Masons because it appeared good. How active he was in this group, I do not know. I was not there and I have not found much information regarding that. I do not believe the symbols that have been restored in the LDS church are from the Masons because Joseph Smith was a Mason. Rather, I believe that many of the symbols that are used in both groups are indeed symbols that were given to man by God for a very particular reason. As man continued to multiply on the earth, secret combinations were formed. Individuals in these secret combinations had knowledge of these special signs from God and polluted their purity by incorporating them in their evil rituals. (to be continued, as the accepted length was exceeded).
Nadine Hays said…
I have been studying this topic a lot recently. Here is what my opinion is on the matter:

First, we always need to be VERY careful when we talk about any group of people. In every group of people there will always be some that are good and some that are evil.

I have talked with individuals that are much more versed on this than myself and they have made the statement that when a Mason holds a position above the 30th degree, that some pretty "ugly" actions start to happen. Rituals that are not of God are performed. Terrible things happen to innocent people.

Evil is indeed of Satan, and often times he accomplishes his goals by working in a group that appears to be good, or at least claims to be good. Secret combinations are NOT good. Things are "secretive" for a reason, and I have found that it is generally because there is something "not so good" that people are trying to hide.

My husband was in DeMolay. His father was a Mason. They are both wonderful men. I believe people are sucked into the Mason lifestyle as they search for a "place to belong". It sounds like a good thing. All I have to say is that if one feels or hears anything that is not of God, get out fast and stay out.

I believe that Joseph Smith joined the Masons because it appeared good. How active he was in this group, I do not know. I was not there and I have not found much information regarding that. I do not believe the symbols that have been restored in the LDS church are from the Masons because Joseph Smith was a Mason. Rather, I believe that many of the symbols that are used in both groups are indeed symbols that were given to man by God for a very particular reason. As man continued to multiply on the earth, secret combinations were formed. Individuals in these secret combinations had knowledge of these special signs from God and polluted their purity by incorporating them in their evil rituals. (to be continued, as the accepted length was exceeded).
Nadine Hays said…
(this is a continuation of my earlier post) I recently heard from a good friend, who grew up in the church and had a father that was very strong in the faith, that many of the signs that are used in the LDS temple are indeed signs that were given to Adam when he left the garden of Eden. My friend told me that much of this was substantiated when she went to Egypt and toured the pyramids. I have not been there, but she told me that much of the symbolism is in the hieroglyphics.

This statement has indeed increased my desire to visit Israel and Egypt in order to help strengthen my testimony. It is indeed a shame that something so pure and sacred as symbols given to man from God have been polluted by individuals that have not chosen to live as God would have them to live.

Freemasonry is linked with the Knights Templar. I don't know about you, but I do not consider killing of God, and that is what much of knighthood was all about.

Many corrupt political leaders are Masons. I just cannot say that I would ever support this group if they allow members that do bad things to stay in the group. Most churches would excommunicate them in an attempt to keep the people protected.

Are the Masons a group of individuals that Satan has chosen to infiltrate and thereby lead many away from our Heavenly Father's way?

Stop and think about this. Satan wants to increase the number of followers he has. People that have chosen the wrong way to live are already on his side. So how else is he going to get a larger following? I believe that he will act as the wolf in sheep's clothing...he will work in a group that appears to be good...small deviations towards the dark side occur in individual's behavior and after awhile it seems "normal". Then Satan takes another step...and so on and so on and so on....

We are indeed seeing this happen in the present time...God is being taken out of our schools, homosexuality is being taught in our elementary schools as an acceptable life-style, people are more interested in their mortal well-being than in their eternal well-being.

Some say that these things are the “signs of the times”. I am hoping that what we are currently experiencing will change for the better. There is a new movement called I think people all over the world are finally starting to wake up. I hope and pray this might be the beginning to a new era in time.

In the meantime, I simply say…Search…Ponder…and Pray.
Osiris said…
Masonry is a Luciferian religion, but this secret is only known generally by the adepts, 31st, 32nd & 33rd degree level masons. Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall both stated this and are among the very elite of popular masons. Albert Pike makes several references to this in his book, "Morals and Dogma."

This quote is taken directly from the book:

"Lucifer, the Light Bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual or selfish Souls?

Doubt it not!"
Osiris said…
Continuing in the same vein, here's a quote from Manly P Hall's "The Lost Keys to Freemasonry." p.48)

"When the Mason learns that the key to the warrior on the block is the proper application of the dynamo of the living power, he has Learned The Mystery of His Craft. The seething energies of Lucifer are in his hands. ( p.48)
Tim Malone said…
In response to J and Osiris:

Not sure what your points are. I think we've established that Joseph was influenced by his exposure to Freemasonry to seek further light and knowledge from the Lord on the subject. The result was the revelation of the temple endowment ceremony.

This essay was not intended to start a discussion on Lucifer, whose name means light-bearer and son of the morning. He is a fallen angel, one of the first-born sons of God in the spirit. He was in a position of authority and had great influence and knowledge.

I guess maybe you are trying to equate the temple ceremony with Lucifer. Nothing could be further from the truth. As noted in my essay, I have attended the temple on a regular basis for many decades. I have studied the temple both inside and out, seeking revelation while there and trying to understand it better from what others have written about it.

I reaffirm that I have never found anything in the temple ceremony hat is anything but uplifting and contributing to my feelings of worship for God and the Savior. What we learn in the temple is revealed from God to a prophet. What we learn in freemasonry is a corruption of those same truths handed down over the years.

I'll stick with revealed religion as the source of knowledge for the eternal salvation of my soul. Let me know if I've missed your point.
baurakALE said…
This expository is filled with wisdom. I would like to point out that the adversary opposed Joseph Smith from the beginning so he surely utilized all of his tools, including wicked men. ''For we battle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers and spiritual wickedness on high''.
doyeneu said…
Hi Tim Malone. I am an LDS from the Philippines. I happened across your blog because of a very troubling video from youtube showing the rites in the temple and some people commenting that Joseph Smith was a mason. So, i googled for answers and was led to your blog. thank you because my testimony was strengthened more by reading your blog about JS and masonry.Joseph Smith always inquired from the Lord things that he felt needful for our salvation.His joining masonry was all for a good reason because he would never know about those rites. and we would not have the revelation about temple rites and ordinances if not for his joining masonry.thank you also to those who posted here because I learned a lot form your posts.
Janet said…
Hi there,

I was given the link to your blog this evening by a friend of mine. He runs an LDS chat room and I do as well. Someone came in to talk about Joseph and Masonry last night. This prompted my friend to do some checking which brought him to your blog. Which, by the way, he finds very informative.

I have learned a lot here. Thank you for that and thanks to those who commented.

I have been a member of the church for about 35 years and never regretted it for a minute. I first went to the temple in 1981 and as the years go by there is always something new to learn and understand. It is a beautiful thing.

I have several blogs here as well, including an LDS one that is relatively new. I love blogging and meeting others and learning new things. :)

I will be back often to check out the rest of your blog.

Have a great day and happy blogging

Take care
Tim Malone said…
I'm adding a comment from a man who knows a lot about the subject and responds to two recent comments here:

Brother Malone,

I stumbled onto your site while looking for something else. I do not
have memberships that would allow me to post to your blog so I am
sending this via email.

J and Osiris are proof that they do not understand the works and words
of Albert Pike and Manly P. Hall. They denigrate two of my favorite
authors with their false interpretations of what the authors wrote and
why they said what they did.

For one thing, Albert Pike was not writing of himself but was quoting
someone else (Eliphas Levi, widely regarded in his day as an expert in
ancient arts and sciences, but really a charlatan and a crackpot) nearly
verbatim. The context of the lecture of the degree is the ritual, and
vice versa. You cannot fully understand one part without the other.

Albert Pike was in no way glorifying Lucifer the fallen angel or
preaching luciferian ideas. In fact, if you knew the context it is
exactly the opposite. The pomps and works of Lucifer are to be destroyed
and only faith in God can enable it.

On the matter of Manly P. Hall, the quote has been missing a word since
the 2nd edition, the word "surging" coupled with "seething." But, even
there the context reveals something very, very different. The Lucifer
that Manly P. Hall was speaking of was neither the evil principle nor a
fallen angel given that name, but he was speaking of the planet Venus as
the context of the book makes crystal clear. Venus emanates and
represents the energies of love. The power of a Master Mason resides in
the concept of love and emulation, manifest in service to others in need.

The context of the other degrees in his work partially quoted and
out-of-context by Osiris also speaks of the energies of Mars
(represented in the passions) being overcome and made useful by the
Entered Apprentice as he drops his warlike, passionate ways in learning
"to subdue his passions and keep them within due bounds." If you consult
an English dictionary prior to 1935, you also will see that the primary
definition of Lucifer before that time was "Venus."

The common misunderstanding comes from switching the primary definition
on us over the years as English usage changed. The book needs a footnote
to explain this to modern readers but the original author is dead and
cannot speak for himself. Unknown to J and Osiris, Manly P. Hall was not
even a Mason at the time he wrote what he did. He did not become one
until decades later.

Masonry also is not luciferian in nature as J and Osiris claim, and that
is a blatant falsehood originally made up by a pornographer out of
revenge for ousting him from the Order on learning of his true
profession. He (Leo Taxil) got to sucker, embarrass, and discredit the
Roman Catholic Church and hurt Freemasonry in the process--two birds
with one stone. He even admitted his hoax in public when he was about to
be exposed for the fraud that he was. Yet, people continue believing in
the hoax that wouldn't die.

Neither is there anything luciferian in nature about the Temple Ceremony
of the Mormons. And neither ceremony is a copy of the other.

By the way, I am both a "Mormon" and a Mason. I currently hold the rank
of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour and know whereof I speak.

D. Charles Pyle
stanford said…
Great read... I didn't read all the comments since they seemed to move away the main point but I believe as you do, that Joseph's associate with Masons was not accidental but serendipitously divine. I also believe for each gospel truth, Satan has many counterfeits. Counterfeits which all people are susceptible to, including Mormons.
Anonymous said…
Dear Tim,

You stated that Mr. Bennett taught Joseph Smith the Masonic rituals etc. But my ancestory states otherwise, I will quote from a Journal of my great Grandfather Horace Hall Cummings.

On page 2 of Gems from my Journal chapter 1 parentage.

That James Cummings my great great great grandfather became an intimate friend of Joseph Smith Jr. and being a master mason officiated in conducting the Prophet through all the degrees of Masonry. It goes on to say that to James Cummings surprise and pleasure the Prophet seemed to understand some of the features of the ceremonies better than any Mason, and made explanations that rendered them much more beautiful and full of meaning. It was evident to James Cummings that the Prophet knew more of what was given in the Temple of Solomon than did the Masons, who claim that their ceremonies originated there. End quote. Now word of mouth through my family goes even further and states that James was a 33 degree master mason and taught Joseph Smith all of the degrees upto the 32 degree and then made Joseph a 33 degree on sight.
Anonymous said…
Sorry Tim,

I mis spoke, there is another great in my ancestory, James Cummings is my great great great great grandfather.
Trandana said…
Freemasonry worships Lucifer, it is not just a fraternity. The low level masons do not know this, and it seems neither do you. That is what the rituals and oaths seperate your ties to God and submit you to lucifer the light bearer. Joseph Smith was a mason, he created Mormon to continue to enslave and manipulate people, essentially doing the devils work. If you dont beleive me explain freemason temples are filled with masonic and occult symbols such as the pentagram? Do you even know what goes on inside these temples? The same rituals as high degree masonry..evil
Unknown said…
I have one point of contention with the Masonic influence in the Temple ceremony... According to Church history Joseph said (after introducing the ceremonies into Temple rites) that Masonry was a corrupted form of the proper ceremony.

Yet after he said this... apparently he still chose to attend the lodge regularly according to historical records of the lodge.

Why condemn something as "corrupt" after receiving "revelation" from God about the correct way to do the ceremony... and then still attend the lodge for many months (or years I can't quite remember the time he still attended) after the fact? Does this not strike anyone as odd behavior coming from a called man of God?

Its honestly not the ceremony that bothers me... if God revealed the correct way to do them... its Joseph's apparent double-speak about the topic.

Shouldn't a prophet of God practice the things he says God tells him to practice on this subject... and stop attending a place of corrupt practices?

Also has anyone looked into the Catholic influence in starting Masonry (particularly through the Jesuit Order, and the Knights of Malta)?

Or has anyone read the "bible of Freemasonry" Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike? And has anyone read pikes thoughts on Lucifer as the true God??? Kinda creepy stuff!!!

Just my humble thoughts on the subject. Thanks!
Mr and Mrs said…
Perhaps someone has brought this up already but there is a lot of evidence that the Masonic Rituals origins are from King Solomon's temple. To me this is a testimony builder in Joseph Smith's prophetic revelation. Here are a couple link's covering this:

Here is an interesting Youtube video from History channel:
Mr and Mrs said…
Legend has it that when the knights Templar gained possession of Solomon's Temple they discovered something under the temple which was very valuable to Christianity (My theory is they found temple endowments which they incorporated into their rituals and ceremonies) Freemason's are a break-off from the Knights Templar. The proper use and meaning of these endowments were restored to Joseph Smith. At any rate it is obvious to see that the LDS temple endowments originate from Solomon's temple and old testament writings NOT from Freemasonry. Freemasonry rituals originated from the knights Templar which originated from Solomon's temple.
Anonymous said…
I am former Mason and after becoming a Christian discovered that the Bible taught against the blood oath of the Masons that was duplicated in the Mormon temple ceremony. I quit Masonry as a result of that and the numerous other practices that were un-Christian. There is absolutely nothing in the Bible or Christian or Jewish writings that support the strange rituals introduced and taking place in the LDS temple and the fact that your members must know signs and tokes to get into heaven is laughable.
You’ve spent billions of dollars of your membership’s tithes to build temples around the world based on an un-Godly Masonic temple ceremony that you are straining beyond reason to believe that it came from God.
Anonymous said…
I failed to note in my last post that your blood oath was removed in 1990 after more than of 100 years of requiring it of your members. If the new and improved version of the Masonic ceremony was given to Joseph Smith in a new revelation, then why have you made so many changes to it? Did God make a mistake?
Just wanted to add Free Masons did not invent the rituals. Indeed these came from solomons temple. There is a painting in denmark I have a photo of called The Final Judgement, and these same rituals are shown....Long before the free masons came into existence.
Fink Art Studio said…
Well said. My husband and I are 'mormons' and also co-masons. Though not all masculine lodges recognize lady Freemasons, we exist nevertheless and have as much an understanding as any other mason.
I stand with you on your opinions of Albert Pike and Manly P Hall. They were enlighten authors and good men.
And to add to this discuss, the rites of freemasonry and temple endowments are very different. Though they share some similarities, they are about as similar as Baptists or Catholics are to Mormons. Some common practices, but also very different.
Just as Mormon doctrines are often taken out of context to validify someones uninformed opinion, so also are the practices of masons.
Both are eady targets for speculation by those who are ignorant of actual goings on.
Lion heart said…
Joseph Smith was a mason. Its a big deal because Masonry is filled with religious themes and doctrines. Such as all religions are good. There are also many mock religious ceremonies that represent even demonic powers. Joseph Smith was a fraud and a deceiver. I'm sorry so many Mormons have been brainwashed into believing in him. He killed two men before he died, had numerous wifes, and affairs with married women, and broke the law. This is the founder you your religion. Please read real history so you wont be deceived by this nonsense. The Bible is very clear that Jesus is divine and the eternal Son of God. Mormonism is nothing but an American equivalent of Islam and Arianism. These are both heresies that the Church has always fought again. Please leave that society and come to the true Christian Faith, the Catholic Church. God bless
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
To the writer: So what? You're kidding right? There are a lot of troubling concerns about Freemasonry being compatible with Christianity.

First off, at the low levels of Masonry it is a "fraternity" of people that share or are allowed to join of various faiths. It isn't until you reach the upper levels that the true god of free masonry comes to light. Freemasonry is about concealment and discovery of truth as you rise to various degrees. In the end, and once you reach the degree Joseph Smith reached, the truth of Free Masonry is revealed. They do not believe that Jesus Christ is God and they exalt Lucifer as the true Architect and Light Bearer of the world. Luciferianism is at the heart of Free Masonry and you'd be a liar if you said it wasn't.

The concern I have with Joseph Smith is if God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son truly visited him (incredible in and of itself) and told him that all the Christian denominations were an abomination in His sight, their creeds wrong, and not to join any of them, why then would Joseph Smith join Free Masonry knowing that it is a Luciferian religion at its heart? Joseph Smith knew this because various family members were Masons and it is clear that Joseph Smith was involved in occult practices.

So all the churches were wrong and the Bible deemed insufficient but he joins and rises to the top level with a group known to worship Lucifer?

I would think THAT is a pretty big deal given the Salt Lake Temple is covered with Luciferian symbols, Mormon doctrine containing under tones of Luciferianism, as well as the garments and rituals Mormons wear and perform! Don’t you realize that at the heart of all of this is the worship of Lucifer?

Therefore your "so what" opinion is rather humorous and completely ignorant of what Free Masonry really is and by your ignorance it seriously puts into question whether Joseph Smith even saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. It sounds he was visited by Lucifer himself disguised as an angel of light more than anything.
Brian J. Bayer said…
blind leading the blind. you'll both fall into the pit. Refusal to crucify pride in self only allows the enemy to lie further. One cannot take the bible as Truth and then willfully go against its' teachings. That would be the definition of hypocrisy. Pike, Hall, Levi, Mormonism, Catholicism, Islam, Freemasonry does not care to which you place your faith, so long you are able to be led, blindly. If you claim to be so intellectual, you'd research all of it, before wasting a life and many souls on a lie.
Unknown said…
Joseph Smith worshiped Satan and Satanic rituals are conducted underneath the Mormon temple in Salt Lake. Any entities that he may have had contact with when he wrote the book of Mormon were sent to him by Satan, not God. Nothing good can come from following this Luciferian religion.
Unknown said…
The Catholic church is the main stronghold of Satan on Earth and the Pope is the king of pedophiles and the right hand man of Lucifer.
Unknown said…
The rise of the church of Jesus christ of latter-day-saints (is proof that the Lord is at the door I believe that Js was called upon when he was Only 14-15yrs of age when the Father and son appeared to Js and used Js to set up his houses on earth to prepare the way for christ return to restore the truth and light to the world for I'm not a scholar by all means I have studied and know that religious vigure has for the most part is been dieing out, It's called the falling away from religion (God) If you do not see the signs all around us you have to be blind to not know that scriptures speak of these days look at the Catholic Church that's one of Satan's churches that he infiltrated and destroyed (the children of the Catholic Church is proof that the church has been taken over by Satan's minions. What is it that God says. About hurting his little children aaaa that's wright this has been going on in the Catholic Church for centuries. It just easier to hear more about the truth of that great whore with all the media and the confessions of victims through out the years This is why He chose Js he was young and pure of heart and desired to know the truth and God gave him a mission to restore his church that was formed by Jesus himself in his time. just so you know that the church of Jesus christ of latter-day-saints not really called Mormons, Mormon was the one who hid christ teachings so they would not be destroyed by their concourers of the land in those days! But we don't mine being called after our brother of christ Mormon who was a great man in his day a true follower of Jesus teachings. GOD bless those who have understanding and wisdom for those who do not!
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said…
Freemasons were infiltrated by Albert pike a follower of satan in the late 1800 after Joseph. Smith was a 33 degree freemason and realized that the freemasons. We're becoming a cult like! Alistair Crowley was a freemason, George Washington also was a freemason along with the majority of presidents of united states
Unknown said…
Freemasons were known to Joseph Smith from a young age. It was one of many religions and organizations that he investigated while searching for the truth. And he stated that many of those he investigated had parts of the full truth, but none had a fullness of the truth. I would imagine that as we ourselves investigate for the truth we will also find bits and pieces of truth in many religions and organzation we investigate. Full truth only comes while on your knees with a contrite heart asking to be given full truth.
Unknown said…
Rahul....I will pray that God will touch you with truth and even more to have a contrite heart. For you can not have one without the other.
Unknown said…
Cullin, We are also taught how corrupt the people of the temple in Jesus time was but he still visited the temple in order to help those who would listen and be saved. Perhaps that is why Josph Smith save what souls would listen to the fullness he knew of, rather than only the partical the Freemasons had.
Pinky said…
There is undeniable connection between Masons & Mormons and the author of this book
has done a lot of research & not confined himself to Mormon resources only. Both Mormons & Masons are what is left of the Best in the world. Embrace them both.

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