Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Joseph Smith and the Masons

Joseph Smith and the Masons

Ratings: (0)|Views: 38 |Likes:
Published by HiramSecret

More info:

Published by: HiramSecret on Oct 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

04/19/2013

pdf

text

original

 
Joseph Smith and the Masons
KENNETH
W.
GODFREY
MEMBERS
OF
THE
Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
before
their arrival in Illinois,
had
lived through a bitter experience
in
Missouri.
They
had
seen government officials join
what
they con
sidered
to be
an effort to thrust
them
from
that
state.
Upon
their
arrival
in
Illinois, they petitioned for Masonic,charters as a deliberate
attempt,
perhaps, to prevent a recurrence of the Missouri experience.
Many
high
government officials
in
Illinois, including members of
the
judiciary,
were Masons, and it would have been logical, therefore, for
the
Mormons
to be drawn to the Masonic order as a fraternal organi
zation
bound
by
oath to defend its members.
The
enthusiastic accept
ance
of
Masonry on the
part
of Latter-day Saints
and
the introduction
of
a
new
religious ceremony into their church by founder Joseph Smith
led,
however,
to
some of the difficulties
that
arose between the Mormons
and
the
non-Mormons in Illinois.
Shortly
after becoming a Mason, the
Prophee
introduced the "secret
sacred"
church ceremony referred to as
"the
endowment,"2 which
had
Itriking
similarities to Masonic rites. This ceremony caused Masons
I.
Hereafter the term
"the
Prophet" will refer
to
Joseph Smith, unless otherwise
Endowment
is
the word used to describe the temple ceremony of the Mormons.a
discussion
of
the endowment, see James
E.
Talmadge,
The
House of the
Lord
.
..
Salt
Lake
City: Bookcraft Publishers, 1962).
79
 
80
Kenneth
W.
Godfrey
is
division coordinator
of
Latter-day SaintsSeminaries
and
Institutes for Arizona
and
New
Mexico with headquartersin
Tempe,
Arizona.
He
received the Bachelor of Science degree inpolitical science and history from Utah State University in
1958
andthe Master of Science degree in the same field from Utah State in1959. Brigham
Young
University awarded
him
the Ph.D. degree
in
history of religion in
1969.
He
has been published in
Dialogue: AJournal of
Mormon
Thought,
the
Improvement
Era, Instructor,BYU Studies,
and the
Utah
Historical Quarterly.
Dr. Godfrey
is
a
member
of several academic and professional fraternities andserves on the board
of
directors of the
Mormon
History Association
to accuse
the Mormon
leader of breaking
the
covenants
he
had
made
when
initiated into
the
Masonic order. Joseph Smith,
in
reply,
said
that
the
endowment was older
than
Masonry
and
had
been revealed
anew through him
and
that
Masonry was merely a corruption of
the
original endowment.
Thus
each
group accused
the other of
misrepresenting
thetrue
origin
and
meaning
of
the
ritual.A clear understanding of
what
transpired between Mormons
and
Masons
in
Illinois during those troublesome years
1839-
1846 will
il-
luminate
at
least in
part
one reason
the
members of
the
Church
of
Jesus Christ of
Latter-day
Saints settled
inthe
Rocky
Mountain
West.
Joseph Smith spent most of his early life in
New
York, which
had
been
fraughtwith
Masonic tumult.
3
There
he
undoubtedly
heard
much
talk
about
this secret society
and
by 1830 was
probably
familiar
with
its organization
and
rites. Such a probability led S.
H.
Goodwin
in
his study of Mormonism
and
Masonry to conclude:
The
first
contact of Mormonism
with
Masonry
antedated the
Nauvoo
period
by
somewhat
more
than
fifteen years.
In
fact
the
present
writer
is
convinced thatthe years which saw
thepreparation
and
publication
of the Golden
Bible of
this
new
faith also witnessed
the
very
material
prenatal
influence
of
:Masonry
upon
Mormonism,
proof
of
which
lies thickly sprinkled over
the
pages
of the
Book
of
Mormon.
4
3.
For
more information on
the
reasons for the difficulties between
New
York
citizens
and
the Masons, see
Mark
W.Canhon,
"The
Crusades against the Masons, Catholics,
and
Mormons: Separate Waves of a
Common Current,"
Brigham
Young
UniversityStudies,
3 (Winter, 1961), 23-40.4.S. H. Goodwin,
Mormonism
and
Masonry: A Utah Point of
View
(Salt
Lake City:
 
KENNETH
W.
GODFREY
81
Other writers have argued
that
reference to secret societies
in Mormon
scripture
is
a result of Masonic disclosures
in
New York during
the
late
1820'S.
They
cite as
an
example the reference to
Master
Mahan
as
being a thinly veiled disguise of
Master
Mason.
5
Joseph Smith's own brother, Hyrum, became a Mason
at
Victor,
New
York, in
1827,
and
Heber
C. Kimball,
an
early
Mormon
apostle,
joined
and received the first three degrees of Freemasonry
at
Milnor
as
early
as
1823.
Kimball claimed
that
even before he was a
Mormon
he
had been driven from his home by mobs
on
five occasions because
of
his
Masonic associations.
6
Helen, his daughter, reports,
"I
remember
once,
when but a young girl, of getting a glimpse of the outside of
the
Morgan
book
7
exposing Masonry
but
which my
father
always
kept
locked
Up."8
William
W.
Phelps,
an
early
Mormon writer
and
publisher, had,
before
joining the
Mormon
church, served a
term
in
prison because
of
his
opposition to
the
Masons.
Author
of
at
least two anti-Masonic
newspapers,
one
in
Trumansburg,
New
York, called the
Lake Light,
and
another in Canandaigua, New York,
named
the
Ontario Phoenix,
Grand
Lodge F.
&
A.M.,
1925),
p.
38.
Another student of Mormonism
and
Masonry,
Jack
Adamson, concluded
that
the beginnings of Mormonism, including
the
story of
Joseph
Smith'svisitinga hill
and
being given Golden Plates by
an
angel
and
then being
attacked
on
the way
home
with the plates,
is
filled with
what he
calls "clangs"
or
parallelisms.
See Jack Adamson,
"The
Treasure
of the Widow's Son,"
TS,
HaIVard
University
Library, p.
10.
5.
Master Mahon
is
a term used in the book of Moses in
Mormon
scripture;
it
refers
to
Cain the brother of Abel. See Moses
5:
3
I.
See also George
B.
Arbaugh,
Revelation in
Mormonism
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1932);
Oliver
B.
Huntington,
"Diaryof Oliver
B.
Huntington,"
TS,
L.D.S.
Church
Historian's Library,
Salt
Lake
City, Utah, p.
12
.
6.
Orson
F.
Whitney,
Life
of
Heber
C.
Kimball
(Salt
Lake City: Stevens
&
Wallis,
Inc
.,
1945),
pp.
11-12.
,.
After
publishing a book in which
he
revealed the Masonic ritual, William Morgan
is
said to
have been abducted
and murdered
in Batavia, N.Y.
The
story first broke
in
the
Wayne
(N.Y.)
Sentinel,
Oct
.
13, 1826.
For
several months
thereafter
almost
every
issue
devoted some space to the subject of Masonry.
James
C. Bilderback,
"Masonry
and
Mormonism
in Nauvoo,
1841-1847,"
Thesis State University of Iowa
1957,
states
that
there
is
still some question as to
whether
or
not Morgan
was actually
murdered
by
the
Masons.
Morgan's widow
married
G. W.
Harris
while
he
lived in
the
Prophet's
borne
.
She
later became a plural wife of Joseph Smith's. See Benjamin F. Johnson,
My
Life's Review
(Kansas City,
Mo
.:Zion's Printing
and
Publishing Company,
1947),
p.
61;
Lee
County
Democrat
(Dixon,
111.
),
Oct
.
I,
1842.
8.
Helen
Mar Whitney, "Scenes
and
Incidents
in
Nauvoo,"
Woman's Exponent,
10
(n.d.),26.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->