My life as a Mormon Freemason

Actually, I’m not a Mason but I thought I’d draw you all in with that title. I’m not sure if the Bloggernacle has had the Freemason Conversation yet, but if so, let’s have it again. Also, if you know nothing about Freemasonry, or the Mormon-Mason connection please educate yourself here and here.

In a nutshell, Freemasonry is a secret, fraternal organization with roots in Enlightenment Europe. Any ideas that Freemasonry represents an unbroken ritual tradition going back to Solomon’s Temple via the Knights Templar belong (pretty much) in the bin next to the DaVinci Code. Freemasonry is a theistic organization, believing in a Grand Architect (= God) and claims to welcome people of all religions. Through rituals closely wedded to architectural symbolism and hoary legend, Freemasons are initiated into various "degrees" where they learn "secrets" intended to make them better, more enlightened individuals. Once upon a time, anyone who was anyone was a Mason (provided, of course, they were men). Famous Masons include George Washington, Winston Churchill, Roy Rogers (!), and Joseph Smith.

Joseph was raised as a Master Mason in Nauvoo in 1842, with most of the Brethren also joining at this time (although some Mormons, like Hyrum Smith, had been Masons for years). Unfortunately, Mormon Masons soon fell-out with other Illinois Masons, some of whom were complicit in Joseph’s martyrdom. It has been said that Joseph gave a Masonic distress signal ("Is there no help for the widow’s son?") before he was shot. Mormon Masonry was abandonded in Utah, but its symbols abound: the beehive, the all-seeing eye, the square and compass, the clasped-hands.

I don’t want to discuss the Mormon-Mason ritual connection here. Read David Buerger’s the Mysteries of Godliness for that (or try the "Masonic Moroni" online). What interests me is whether a Mormon can also be a Mason. First, some background. I have been interested in Freemasonry for years and someone I know very well, who also happens to be a strong, active Mormon joined the Brotherhood a couple of years ago. Consequently I have been to several public Masonic meetings both in the US and in the UK. Some of the grandest buildings I have ever visited are the Scottish Rite Temple of Freemasonry in Baltimore, and Freemasons’ Hall in London.

I myself have no interest in joining, and have noted a conflict in my friend’s approach to his Masonry. On the one hand, he enjoys the fraternity and the pageantry, believing that his Masonic Lodge is the Priesthood Quorum he never had. On the other, he tells nobody at Church that he is a Mason. Masons are allowed to divulge their membership (and today are even encouraged to do so), and only the rituals are secret (which incidentally, involve hand-shakes, nooses, blindfolds, and the reenactment of certain biblical dramas). Yet, he feels that his fellow Latter-day Saints would have a dim view of his membership because either:

1. They have a sensationalist view of Masonry, believing it to be a cult-like group

2. They think that Masonic-Mormon ritual parallels suggest the former is apostate

3. They point out that the Church Handbook advises against joining "oath-bound" groups

4. They would say he should be spending his time going to the Mormon temple not the Masonic temple.

Of course, what many Latter-day Saints simply fail to realise is that Masonry was considered a by-form of Mormon male expression in the Nauvoo period. So, if it was good enough for Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow why is my friend embarrassed about heralding his own membership? Of course, things change, and the aformentioned brothers were also polygamous, but it is interesting to note that Mormonism’s drift from Masonry in Utah was not so much because Mormons came to distrust Masonry (the bitterness that certain Illinois Masons left them was probably not directed at Masonry itself), but because Utah Masons were synonymous with anti-Mormons. The infamous expose of the Mormon Temple Ritual, "Lifting the Vail. (sic) The Endowment House Mysteries Fully Explained," was the work of Robert Newton Baskin, who was a member of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 2. Remarkably for an organisation that promotes tolerance, Utah Masonry only removed its ban on Mormons becoming Masons in Utah on January 31, 1984.

From what I have read, I know of no offical ban from the Church on Mormons becoming Masons despite what some misinformed members might say. My friend need not be ashamed, for Brother Joseph was a "Brother" in more ways than one. Are there any Mormon Masons out there in the ‘Nacle? It’s time to come out.

Comments

  1. Ronan, great post. I’m not a mason, though I have toyed with the idea of becoming a Shriner.

  2. D. Fletcher says:

    Ronan, I’m interested that you would point out that Masonry really only goes back to medievel history, not Solomon, because the Church would vehemently disagree. The Temple Ceremony, changed though it is, is thought to represent the ancient rites, though it resembles the Masonic rites in every way.

  3. D.,
    I don’t think the Church would actually say anything on the matter. But you are right, many members posit an ancient fountain from which FM springs. This may be so, but to get from 17th century AD masonic guilds in Europe to 10th century BC temples in Palestine takes some historical acrobatics. That doesn’t stop people, however.

  4. Anyway, D, I said:

    Any ideas that Freemasonry represents an unbroken ritual tradition going back to Solomon’s Temple via the Knights Templar belong (pretty much) in the bin.

  5. Steve, as I understand it you have to be a Master Mason before you can be a Shriner. Sorry.

  6. D. Fletcher says:

    I don’t mean to throw this all into controversy, but I have very little use for the temple ceremonies, although I’m quite fascinated by FreeMasonry, because it gives religious significance to mundance human behavior, in this case, laying bricks and building buildings.

    Ever seen the movie “The Man Who Would Be King”? Great fun, and fascinating.

  7. D. Fletcher says:

    My last post used a word, “mundance.” It was meant to read “mundane,” but now I see that “mundance” rhymes with Sundance, so let’s just leave it in!

  8. D., it’s a marvelous night for a mundance, with the stars up above in your eyes.

  9. D. Fletcher says:

    :)

    Steve, if I didn’t know better, I’d think you were flirting with me.

  10. …. but you do, of course, know better. It’s just Van Morrison, D., not an engagement ring.

  11. Jim Richins says:

    I was very interested by your thoughts, Ronan.

    Coincidentally, I was looking into FM rituals a short time ago myself. I came across a line-by-line description of the first through third degrees of FM. Contrary to what many others have said, I found very little similarity at all.

    I would be interested to hear what your friend thinks about the similarities, Ronan.

  12. Steve,

    I suspect that there’s a feisty little woman living under your roof who might object to your giving D an engagement ring.

    And besides, you’re one state too far west for that sort of thing.

  13. D. Fletcher says:

    I found a new calling: activist for same-sex polygamist marriages!

  14. I am not a mason. Last Friday, however, I spent about three hours in the Masonic Temple in SLC. I had been asked to be an M.C. for an event held in their auditorium, which they sometimes rent to other groups to hold activities. This was the second time I had been there for an event.

    While there, I noticed that the gentlemen currently visiting were all dressed in suits, and most of them in what appeared to be tuxedos. The also noted that despite the fact that there were numerous non-mason visitors there for the event, the masons there were wearing their ritual clothing over their tuxedos without any attempt to conceal it from the rest of us.

    I had the opportunity to look at some of the photographs and paintings on the temple wall. Among the photos of people who had been respected members of their group, I found at least one former governor of Utah from several decades past. There were also paintings depicting their rites of initiation etc that were interesting.

    The auditorium had a dome ceiling created an intricate pattern of zig-zagging bricks. The pinnacle of the ceiling was a flat blue disk representing the night sky with little light blubs organized in the form of common constellations.

    I can say that after my visits, I am less inclined to become a mason than before, though it is hard to explain why.

  15. We have a highcouncilman who was recently assigned to our ward who is a 30th degree Mason (or whatever the highest level is). Besides being a Navy attorney he was always talking about how he was shuttling back and forth between here and England to take care of his lodges. He is a very nice man and apparently our stake presidency is fully aware that he is heavily involved in the Masons.

  16. 33 degree is the highest. You are then told the true name of God: Jah-Bul-On.

  17. john fowles says:

    If any of you are interested in more details about some of the intellectual significance of Masonry, both in the context of its own seventeenth and eighteenth-century origins and in the context of Latter-day Saint belief, you should see the latest issue of BYU Studies. That issue focuses on Mozart’s Magic Flute and the Masonic influences on that piece. Professor Keele of the BYU German department has an excellent article on how Mozart’s opera, as influenced by Masonic elements, can be an inspiration to Latter-day Saints in the context of their own ritual oriented ceremonies in the temple. Another insightful article compares the opera with both Masonic notions of progress and LDS views of progress in the context of the Plan of Salvation.

    Other contributors, such as Paul Kerry, formerly of the BYU History Department, now a professor at the University of Cambridge, writes in more detail about the origins and beliefs of the Masons specifically.

  18. John, Glad to know that Paul is planting his Anglophilic roots back in English sod. When will John Fowles, QC follow?

    Also, the BYU Studies issue was great. Masonry should be studied by Mormons on its own terms and this heralded something good. Nice contribution by a certain JF too….

  19. John’s too modest to mention it, I guess, but he has an excellent paper in that volume as well!

  20. john fowles says:

    Thanks Ronan and Kristine! But I must deny the accusations of modesty here, since I must confess that I did sneak in a reference to my own article: “Another insightful article compares the opera with both Masonic notions of progress and LDS views of progress in the context of the Plan of Salvation.”

  21. john fowles says:

    haha.

  22. After my mission in France, I was fascinated with the disparity in Masonic communities between the states and the continent. Here, it is very open with big signs community events.

    In Belgium and France, it was very private. The only way I could figure out were a temple was, was by noticing a small V and L above the doorway. I once contacted a guy on the street who did everything (including giving we a heck of a hand shake) except admit he was a Mason – he just wouldn’t do it.

  23. You’re dead on there J. I’m amazed to see Freemason license plates here in the US. You brash Yanks!

  24. 1. Masonic ritual clothing was commonly worn at public functions in the early days of the country. The Washington Memorial built by the Masons in Arlingont (near the LDS Chapel there) has reliefs showing many founding fathers wearing their ritual clothing.

    2. My grandfather was a Mason. I have considered joining several times. However, I asked the 2nd counselor of the DC Temple Presidency re: whether this was acceptable. He emphatically said it wasn’t compatible. I haven’t followed up on it since then. Just one man’s opinion, but I figured as a member of a temple presidency & the supposed tie between the ceremonies, he might be a good person to ask.

  25. My great grandfather was a 33rd degree, my grandfather a master mason. The last time I looked it up in a correlation manual, there was nothing saying one could not be both LDS and a mason.

    BTW, for whatever it is worth, there is a great deal of simularity between several of the Chinese endowments and the masons, and between the Egyptian endowment as typified in the travelling King Tut exhibit. No, I’m not claiming an unbroken chain, but all three have the sign of fire (or of ultimate distress), the lion grip, etc.

    Of course the Masons do not have a peachwood grove, the Egyptians use boats instead of the Chinese Bridges, etc., but if you were working out the stages of a heroquest ritual, you could read the cross-over points easily.

    I found reading various secret society rituals interesting, not to mention the ghost shirt group that had a grudge with the LDS, claiming we had stolen some of their power and thus drained thier ritual of effect by our garments.

    Do the masons go back beyond the carbonari? Did some of those founding them stumble on survivals or is there a Harold Bloom short of gnostic drive that infuses all men so that they recreate the same ritual elements?

    Interesting stuff there, interesting questions.

    From one view, there is nothing in common. From another, a good deal. Depends how you weave your rituals and match your nodes.

  26. It’s just Van Morrison, D., not an engagement ring.

    Wow- that might just be the bloggernacle quote of the week, in my book. Awesome.

  27. Tom Manney says:

    Once, at the Denver temple, I noticed a Masonic ring on the hand of a man who was receiving me at the veil. I thought it was rather a curious juxtaposition.

  28. Lyle,
    Such confusion! I once asked a member of my Stake Presidency and he said “No”. Then I asked a General Authority and he said “yes, you can be a Mormon Mason”.

  29. My father-in-law, a former Bishop (3x) and current high councilman, is and has been a mason for the past 40 years or so. He always makes a point of telling the SP or Bishop that he is a mason before accepting leadership callings. Not once has anyone objected, nor has he been barred from callings because of his association.

  30. Oh, he’s also a Shriner. I love the pictures of him marching in parades in genie-like garb with his sword and his Shriner’s hat.

  31. As I mentioned earlier, our former visiting highcouncilman is a 33rd-degree mason and when I asked him if that was at all problematic (to be both a Mormon and mason) he said he had talked with the stake president about it. The stake president asked him a number of questions (I can’t remember specifics) and then responded that it was ok to be a mason and a Mormon.

    Masons apparently are not merely an organization for adult men. This highcouncilman had us come visit him in his home for dinner a few times and in the process of getting to know him, I learned that almost everyone in his family (wife, daughter, son) participated in a mason group that was tailored for that person’s age-group. What was impressive to me about it was the number of meetings they attended and the amount of time that is put into being a mason. The best comparison I can make is to a calling of heavy responsibility in the Church. Or perhaps it could be compared to attending two wards and all their activities. That is how it appeared to me. There are also dues to pay or annual costs. I’m not sure how much that is though.

  32. Steve, I know where you can find a sword!

  33. Ahhh M, if only you had a fez and a little car to go with that scimitar…

  34. Can I guess the questions?
    1. Do you believe in and have a testimony of God the Eternal Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost?
    Most of you proboboly know the rest…

    The reson that I would guess the answer is not cut and dried relates to the relationship you see yourself in with the masons and the church. If your commitment to the masonic order is greater than your commitment to the Church, then no it is not compatible. But that is true of things more than freemasonry: money, football, music.

    When it comes down to a spiritual test is your faith in Christ or something else? I thinks that is it more obviuos in FM that it can become a conflict rather than in, say, vollyball.

  35. john fowles says:

    From what I have heard, concerns about being a Latter-day Saint and a Mason stem from concerns about competing time commitments. At least, that is what some LDS Masons I know have told me.

  36. I am pained to admit that my masonic knowledge stops at National Treasure (okay, I know a little more, but nothing much). I drive by the Salt Lake Masonic Temple daily and find it intriguing. First of all, kinda scary (personal issue I have with statues and spooky stuff…I’m told that I am complex), and secondly, I have never seen any sign of life. I live nearby and so pass it at all hours, and never a soul to be seen. My roommate claims that there was a bride and groom taking pictures on the front steps once. Someone told me that you can take a tour of sorts, but I don’t know if that is true. I may check it out if I don’t get freaked out by the shpinx-like characters out front. And then I’ll tell you what I think.

    I say, if it’s all lovely and of good report and praise worthy, go for it, but who has the time?

  37. Steve, I know where you can find a sword!

    Posted by: M | February 25, 2005 01:25 PM

    Yep, http://adrr.com/sword/

    ;)

  38. In the summer of 1994 I was practicing the piano in the Harris Fine Arts Center at BYU and since no one else was around, I was recruited for a two-day job as a musician in the eminently forgetable made-for-TNT movie, Avenging Angel, starring Charleton Heston as Brigham Young. I was paid $100 a day (the “unskilled” extras got only $40) to be the organist in a scene that was supposed to take place in the tabernacle, but, (since I’m sure the Church was loath to give any permissions to such a shady production), was filmed in the Great Hall of the Masonic Temple a few blocks east of Temple Square.

    As any one with experience in the movies knows, there’s a lot of standing around, so I had a lot of free time to explore the less frequented areas of the building — mostly, as Jonathan said, a lot of old photographs.

    Yesterday I was up in the Boston area and toured the National Heritage Museum in Lexington, built in 1975 as a bicentennial gift to the nation from the collective lodges of the Scottish Rite.

    I learned how the Shriners and the Elks, and the Moose and the Rotarians, all emerged from Freemasonry. And that after the first three levels (the third level is Master Mason) one can join the York rite (ten more levels) or the Scottish rite (levels 4 to 32 with an honorary 33rd)

    The museum had great displays on Paul Revere and George Washington (with many letters showing Washington’s elegant penmanship). There was also in the historical collection a blown up copy of the playbill for

    Pizzaro, a Grand Moral Entertainment

    This was a play put on by the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge on April 24, 1844. To quote further:

    “To aid in the discharge of a debt, against President Joseph Smith, contracted through the odious persecution of Missouri, and vexatious law suits. His friends and the public will respond to so laudable a call, in patronising the exertions of those who promise rational amusement with usefulness.”

    Among the cast, playing Peruvians, were E. Snow, G. A. Smith (an old blind man) and B. Young (a high priest). A Mrs. Young, not further identified, played one of the Spaniards.

    The best part of the visit for me was a sale of discarded books from the extensive museum library where I purchased, for fifty cents, a copy of “Ritualistic Music” for the 15th through the 18th degrees, composed by 32nd degree mason Daniel Protheroe, and published in 1909. The music is not of very high quality, but it will be a nice curiosity to have on the bookshelf.

  39. Incidentally, I forgot to mention one other Mason-related experience. Five or six years ago, a friend invited me to an informational meeting on the Masons, held in the building on 23rd at Sixth Avenue in Manhattan. It was a magnificent space. The lecture was lamenting the decline in population of Masons (they peaked a couple of generations ago) and wondering how this trend could be reversed. The speaker didn’t think the reversal would come from a dilution of the strictness of traditional freemasonry but from its celebration.

  40. Hi,

    My name is Adelmar, I am a mormon. I was invited to be a mason and ask to the Office of LDS First Presidency if a mormon can to be a mason.
    The Secretary of First Presidency answer me by a letter to my stake presidency, that if a member of the church became a mason, this member can not have a valid recommend to the Temple.
    The letter can not be with me.

  41. I have trouble believing that, since I am acquainted with at least two LDS who have temple recommends and certainly don’t hide their Masonic membership.

    1) Greg Kearney,-”Greg Kearney is an active temple attending Latter-day Saint as well as a life member of Franklin Lodge #123 A.F. & A.M. as well as several lodges of research. He gives Masonic education lectures at lodges on the history and relationship of Freemasonry to the development of the Latter-day Saint temples” who is a journalist by profession but also writes occasionally for fairlds.org

    2) D. Charles Pyle, whose website seems down for the moment. http://personal.linkline.com/dcpyle/

  42. Thanks Mr. Ben,

    I will talk with then.

    Adelmar

  43. Tom Manney says:

    My own mission president, a very down-to-earth guy, reminded us that it’s often easier to get forgiveness than permission. I think that’s often a good way to work in this church. There are over-cautious types who will ask permission for anything even slightly questionable and will probably get told no. There are others who just forge ahead and, if they can carry it off without seeming like apostates, no one questions them.

  44. Greg Kearney says:

    Well I’m a church member and Mason, never found any conflict between the two. I do not hide my masonic membership nearly everyone at church knows of it.

    If you commit more to masonry than to church you are not living up to your masonic commitments very well which warn against that very thing.

    One important point to remember about Masonry is that it is not and has never claimed to be a religion. Another point is that only the first three degrees have their origins in antiquity the others are all 18 and 19th century inventions.

  45. Adelmar says:

    Hei Tom,

    Joseph Smith, when became a mason, are him mistake???

  46. Well, the first three degrees have their origins in the end of the Renaissance. But of course they did get the ideas from the newly emerging ancient texts. But then that applies to the 18th and 19th century additions as well. And, to be fair, some of the most interesting parallels between Mormonism and Masonry come from those latter rites, such as adoptive masonry.

  47. Okay, maybe I’m oblivious… but whats the name of the brotherhood?

    Thanks
    Angee

  48. Greg Kearney: …only the first three degrees have their origins in antiquity.…

    Clark Goble Well, the first three degrees have their origins in the end of the Renaissance. But of course they did get the ideas from the newly emerging ancient texts.

    WTF? The Masonic degrees are no more pre-Enlightenment than a fraternity initiation ritual. Joseph didn’t even take the Masonic ceremony seriously; that’s why he was so cavalier about changing it (from an allegory of a man to a representation of man’s place in the universe) and flouting Masonic Law. Heber and Brigham were the ones who took Masonry seriously, but there is basis for this neither in the scriptures nor in anything Joseph is known to have said or to have written.

    As I’ve said earlier in another thread on this blog, Joseph was responsive to Abraham Jonas’s overtures to create a Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo (plus 4 others eventually) because Joseph wanted to use Masonry and its oaths of secrecy as a cover for the doctrines of his underground church (including polygamy).

    Adelmar Joseph Smith, when [did he become] a mason[?]

    Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon received the first degree of Masonry (Entered Apprentice) on Tuesday, March 15, 1842. The following day they received the Fellowcraft degree and were declared Masons at Sight. The popular myth that Joseph delivered a beautiful sermon on the meaning of Masonic symbols (perpetuated by Kenneth W. Godfrey’s BYU PhD dissertation later published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society) is altogether false.

  49. While we’re on this topic, anybody have any info on the church cooling off on boy scouts joining the Order of the Arrow? I was never selected, but really had no interest. I could tell that some people were nervous about the ceremonies, but it was never clear why. However I recently ran across the following items:
    http://www.quapawbsa.org/db/uploads/986321344_Local_brotherhoodquestionnaire.pdf
    http://www.100megsfree4.com/stimso/oa1.htm

    I can certainly see how the church might be nervous about having members of the Teachers Quorum joining the OA.

  50. arj, I was in the Order of the Arrow, and I don’t remember anyone expressing any misgivings about it. Up until two months ago, I was the deacon’s quorum advisor (I’ll pause a moment while everybody chivers with horror at the thought of my being a role model… ), and we encouraged our boys to go for OA without reservation. I’ve never heard anyone express misgivings about OA. But then again, I’m a pretty fringe member and there’s a lot I haven’t heard.

    The selection process has changed, however. One is no longer elected by his peers (basically a popularity contest), but everyone who has satisfied certain criteria is eligible.

  51. Thanks for those links ARJ, that’s awesome.

    I was in the second degree of the OotA (third is virtually impossible) but I had completely forgotten about that ceremony. One thing I do remember, though vaguely, about the initiation ceremony was a story they told about this chieftain who had two sons, one good and one bad and the bad one rebels and takes a third of the tribe away with him.

  52. I was inducted into Rainbow girls when I was a kid and I don’t remember anything that remotely resembled the temple ceremony.

  53. a random John says:

    DKL,

    They didn’t kick you out? You must not have participated much, right?

    So do they take more members in OA now? When I was a scout they only took one boy per year. Most years we didn’t even send anyone because nobody wanted to do it.

  54. arj, I didn’t get thrown out, I’m sad to say. And you’re right, I didn’t participate much. The worst thing they can say about me is that I was truant, and attendance was not a requirement.

  55. Barbaralba says:

    I am a Latter-day Saint and a Mason. I am a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Knight Templar Mason. I see more miss-information above than information. The facts are these: to paraphrase Joseph Smith Jr, the Prophet: Masonry is a degraded form of the original temple endowment; I personally have seen little similarity although there is some as the Prophet indicated; also the 32nd degree is the highest in the Scottish Rite with the exception of the honorary leadership degree of the 33rd; Knight Templar is the highest degree of the York Rite. The phrase Jah-Bul-On is NEVER revealed in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in any place whatsoever. Barbaralba.

  56. Is a copy of the removal of the ban on Mormons becoming Masons in Utah on January 31, 1984 available on the internet?? Link?

  57. JAMES MARPLES says:

    Hello.
    I see a lot of comments from people who are mis-guided & mis-informed on the subject of the LDS Church and the Masonic fraternity. The same confusion exists among people who debate those who are members of both the Catholic Church and the Masonic fraternity.

    There are (and have been) many men who have joined Masonry who are Mormons. By the same token, there are many men who have joined Masonry who are Catholics.

    Most people who decry & criticize the fraternity have never joined it. They act like experts, based upon rumors and hearsay they have heard thru the grapevine.

    Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor, William Clayton, and Heber Kimball were dedicated Masons who were members of the LDS Church.
    Actors John Wayne, William J “Billy” Florence; and Danny Thomas were dedicated Masons who were Catholic.

    Masonry is open to good men who believe in Almighty God.

    The best advice is for people to work toward the “good” in this world. It doesn’t behoove anyone to tear-down or disparage the beliefs of others. “Live and let Live !! ” Let the Lodges go about their fraternal ceremonies to elevate the Character of Good Men. Let the Churches fill the role of a providing a spiritual House of Worship. Masonry is not a religion (despite the archaic words of Albert Pike which have been taken out-of-context) (Pike himself was a Trinitarian Christian)

    Good Actions speak louder than words.

    The Beehive symbolizes “hard work and Industry”.
    The “All-Seeing-Eye” denotes Almighty God.

    The “Clasped Hands of Friendship” denotes cooperation.

    Whatever religious Faith you profess is your business. I would just hope that everyone would remember what was said earlier: “Good Actions speak louder than words”.

    Cordially and Fraternally,

    JAMES MARPLES ( yes, I am a Trinitarian Christian)
    (yes, I am a Freemason… member of a Masonic Lodge and a Knight Templar in the York Rite; and a 32nd degree in the Scottish Rite )

    I find that my Lodge membership IS compatible with my religious Faith.

    P.S. … My Great Grandfather was a 33rd degree Mason and a member of the LDS Church.

    *************
    ************

  58. JAMES MARPLES says:

    Hello again…
    ….a follow-up post to the one I left (above)

    I personally have been inside the Cultural and Masonic Hall in Nauvoo, Illinois. I have also been inside the Masonic Grand Lodge buildings in Salt Lake City Utah and Topeka, Kansas.

    In most cases, visitors are welcomed in such buildings. There is nothing “spooky” about them (as someone’s earlier posting suggested)

    Just because there is “no sign of life” should not make anyone shy away. I once stopped near Omaha, Nebraska , and saw the LDS Winter Quarters Temple when there was “no sign of life”. Quite simply, it was at a time with no activities. Simple as that.

    It is nice to know that Col. Harland Sanders (of KFC); Dave Thomas (of Wendys); Astronaut Buzz Aldrin; Singers Roy Rogers and Gene Autry and Roy Clark …ALL joined Masonry and Shrinedom.

    Queen Elizabeth II’s father, uncle,grandfather, and great grandfather were ALL Masons. Geo Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, James Knox Polk, James Buchanan, James A Garfield, Wm McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Wm Howard Taft, Warren Harding, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Gerald Ford..all joined Masonry.

    Quite a bit of diversity in such an honorable organization!

    –JAMES MARPLES (Master Mason; Knight Templar Mason, and 32nd degree A.A.S.R Mason)…and a Trinitarian Christian.

    ***************

  59. Hello all…

    I am a faithful member of the Church as well as being a Master Mason and a 32nd Degree Mason in the Scottish Rite. I have not gone all the way to Knight Templar in the York Rite, because I do not believe that as a Latter-Day Saint, that I can honestly say I am a Trinitarian Christian as they understand it. This is just my opinion, however. One other thing; the restriction on Mormons being made Masons that was ended in 1984 was a policy of the Grand Lodge of Utah and not a policy of the Church. As with the other posters here, I find no conflict between my faith and the fraternity, nor do I think the similarities between the Temple ritual and Masonic ritual are evidence of the Church “stealing” from Freemasonry.

  60. By the way, here is a link to an article which cites the declaration of the ending of the policy of the Grand Lodge Utah disallowing Mormons from joining the fraternity. I dont know how accurate or complete this is, just posting it for your perusal.

    http://www.freedomdomain.com/freemasons/mormons01.html

  61. I am a Latter-day Saint and a Master Mason. There are plenty of us out there that don’t see any conflict nor do we feel any shame about making our membership public knowledge within or without the Church.

  62. Is this being a faithful Christian?

    The new Mason is brought to the outer door seeking the light of the Lodge, and there the Doorkeeper, or Tiler, will put a sword or a sharp point to his breast and lead him into the lodge room, where an altar sits in its center. The lodge members await the candidate in the darkness that sorrounds the altar, which is lit from a single light above. Behind the altar stands a man called “The Worshipful Master.” He is the master of the lodge and presides over the initiation.

    When the initiate is brougt before him, he bows before “The Worshipful Master”. and says something like this: “I am lost in darkness, and I am seeking the light of Freemasonry.”

    So I ask how can a Christian Mason say he is lost in darkness and seek to join the Lodge because he needs the light of Freemasonry? The Bible says if you are in darkness, you are living a lie, and the truth in not in you.

  63. Remember no one can serve two masters.

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