Freemasonry and the Temple - The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Relationship between the Endowment and Freemasonry. Summary: Important note: Members of FairMormon take their temple covenants seriously. We consider. The relationship between Mormonism and Freemasonry began early in the life Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, as his older brother. Students of both Mormonism and Freemasonry have pondered possible relationships between Masonic rites and the LDS temple ceremony.
Like such ancient ceremonies, the LDS temple Endowment presents aspects of these themes in figurative terms. It, too, presents, not a picture of immediate reality, but a model setting forth the pattern of human life on earth and the divine plan of which it is part. Masonic ceremonies are also allegorical, depicting life's states-youth, manhood, and old age-each with its associated burdens and challenges, followed by death and hoped-for immortality.
There is no universal agreement concerning when Freemasonry began. Some historians trace the order's origin to Solomon, Enoch, or even Adam.
Others argue that while some Masonic symbolism may be ancient, as an institution it began in the Middle Ages or later. Though in this dispensation the LDS Endowment dates from Kirtland and Nauvoo see Kirtland Temple ; Nauvoo TempleLatter-day Saints believe that temple ordinances are as old as man and that the essentials of the gospel of Jesus Christ, including its necessary ritual and teachings, were first revealed to Adam. These saving principles and ordinances were subsequently revealed to Seth; Noah; Melchizedek; Abraham, and each prophet to whom the priesthood was given, including Peter.
Latter-day Saints believe that the ordinances performed in LDS temples today replicate rituals that were part of God's teachings from the beginning. The Prophet Joseph Smith suggested that the Endowment and Freemasonry in part emanated from the same ancient spring. Thus, some Nauvoo Masons thought of the Endowment as a restoration of a ritual only imperfectly preserved in Freemasonry and viewed Joseph Smith as a master of the underlying principles and allegorical symbolism Heber C.
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Kimball to Parley P. Pratt, June 17,Church Archives. The philosophy and major tenets of Freemasonry are not fundamentally incompatible with the teaching, theology, and doctrines of the Latter-day Saints.
Relationship of Mormonism and Freemasonry
Both emphasize morality, sacrifice, consecration, and service, and both condemn selfishness, sin, and greed. Furthermore, the aim of Masonic ritual is to instruct-to make truth available so that man can follow it.
Resemblances between the two rituals are limited to a small proportion of actions and words; indeed, some find that the LDS Endowment has more similarities with the Pyramid texts and the Coptic documents than with Freemasonry.
Even where the two rituals share symbolism, the fabric of meanings is different. In addition to creation and life themes, one similarity is that both call for the participants to make covenants.
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Yet, the Endowment alone ties covenants to eternal blessings and to Jesus Christ. The Masonic ceremony does not emphasize priesthood or the need to be commissioned by God to represent him.
The active participation of God in the world and in men's lives is a distinctly LDS temple motif. While Masons believe in an undefined, impersonal God, everything in the LDS Endowment emanates from, or is directed to, God who is a personage and man's eternal Father.
The Endowment looks to the eternities and to eternal lives, but Freemasonry is earthbound, pervaded by human legend and hope for something better. Freemasonry is a fraternal society, and in its ritual all promises, oaths, and agreements are made between members. In the temple Endowment all covenants are between the individual and God.
Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum became members of the newly-formed Nauvoo lodge. It appears that John C. Bennett had a particularly strong influence in the spread of Freemasonry among the Mormons, and soon over 1, Mormon men in the city of Nauvoo were practicing Masons. Joseph and Sidney [Rigdon] were inducted into formal Masonry This freed Joseph from having to complete the ritual and memorization necessary to work one's way through the first three degrees.
Making one "A Mason on Sight" is generally reserved as an honor and is a rarity in occurrence.
Freemasonry and the Temple
Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested. In the evening I received the first degree in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office.
This was within Jonas' right of office, but a fairly rare procedure. The father, Joseph Smith, Sr.
Problems arose concerning the special dispensation granted to the Nauvoo Lodge, said problems brought by Bodley Lodge No. Bennett reports an instance in which sixty-three persons were elected on a single ballot. The irregularities centered on mass balloting voting on more than one candidate at a time and not requiring proficiency in each degree before proceeding to the next degree in many cases, initiates were being passed to the Fellowcraft degree and raised to the Master Mason degree within two days of being initiated as an Entered Apprentice.
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Only a few additional meetings were held prior to the Latter-day Saints' departure for the Great Basin in Similarities in symbology and ritual in the LDS Church[ edit ] LDS Church temple worship shares an extensive commonality of symbols, signs, vocabulary and clothing with Freemasonry, including robesaprons, handshakes, ritualistic raising of the arms, etc. For example, whereas Masons exchange secret handshakes to identify fellow Freemasons, Mormonism teaches that these handshakes must be given to sentinel angels so that Mormons may be admitted into the highest kingdom of heaven.
LDS temple garments also bear the Masonic symbols of the Square and Compassalthough the LDS Church has imbued these symbols with religious meaning that exceeds the meaning of the symbols as intended by Freemasonry. Portions of the temple ritual resembled Masonic rites that Joseph had observed when a Nauvoo lodge was organized in March and that he may have heard about from Hyrum, a Mason from New York days.