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zelder

Masons, Mormons & Knights Templars

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Of course there are a lot of similarities between the symbols in the temple and the smybols in masonry. I was told once that the masons got the symbols from the Knights Templars and the Knights Templars got the symbols from the ark of the covenant during the crusades. Is there any truth to this? Does this come from Hugh Nibley?

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Hi. It is absolutely clear that Joseph Smith employed Masonic symbols in the endowment. What you make of that yourself will depend on who you choose to believe. I say that Joseph Smith employed pieces of Freemasonry in the endowment that actually came down from the ancient mysteries, and that he did so by revelation. That stuff has been floating around the world in various systems from apostasies down from the beginning of time, so it is all serviciable as pieces that could be put to use in an Endowment if someone like Joseph Smith came along and puts it all in the right places, which he did. But as for how that stuff got in Masonry, it is clear that it did not come from the Templars. Masonry is an Enlightenment-era fraternity that has no real descent from the Templars much less any other ancient Catholic order. It came from the various branches of the Western Esoteric Tradition (i.e. Hermetecism), from its various branches (which are actually all separate systems in themselves) such as Rosicrucianism, Alchemy, Kabbalah, Magic and so on. When these guys from these systems all got together in the 1700's and formed a fraternity, they imported into it all this stuff from these other systems. And the Masons really have no connection to the ancient Masons guilds. They just copied their degrees from the guilds and so on for a framework in their fraternity. As for the history of these other groups from the Western Esoteric Tradition, there is no clear history for them. Except it is generally accepted that they probably descend from various mystery religions from antiquity. So there is no real line of descent from the Knights Templars and that idea is pretty much discredited, and is an absolute myth. therefore, Mormonism does owe a debt to some degree to the western Esoteric Tradition, and it is in those groups that we find the genealogy for our Endowment, not from the Templars.

Ed Goble

Of course there are a lot of similarities between the symbols in the temple and the smybols in masonry. I was told once that the masons got the symbols from the Knights Templars and the Knights Templars got the symbols from the ark of the covenant during the crusades. Is there any truth to this? Does this come from Hugh Nibley?

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Of course there are a lot of similarities between the symbols in the temple and the smybols in masonry. I was told once that the masons got the symbols from the Knights Templars and the Knights Templars got the symbols from the ark of the covenant during the crusades. Is there any truth to this? Does this come from Hugh Nibley?

Nibley asserted Masonic dependence upon the Renaissance Hermetic and Rosicrucian worldview, and traced the Masonic rites to St. Bernard (1090-1153), and to the ordinances of the medieval Knights Templars and Hospitalers (of St. John, which still exist as the Knights of Malta), and you can find his views in the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, XII: 319, where he says:

The Masonic rites have a lot in common with ours [LDS temple rites]. . . . they do have the same source, if you trace their's back. But what a different picture you see! They don't give any religious meaning to their's. They think of them as symbolic, as abstract, etc. They don't think of any particular realities behind them. They have nothing to do with salvation, and what they have is broken fragments. . . . They've picked them up from various times and places, and you can trace them back. But actually, they go back to very early times, and then you get the ordinances of the Knights Templar and the Hospitalers
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Of course there are a lot of similarities between the symbols in the temple and the smybols in masonry. I was told once that the masons got the symbols from the Knights Templars and the Knights Templars got the symbols from the ark of the covenant during the crusades. Is there any truth to this? Does this come from Hugh Nibley?

It's my understanding that not even the Masons themselves hypothesize an ancient origin to their ceremonies anymore.

Source: The History Channel.

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It's my understanding that not even the Masons themselves hypothesize an ancient origin to their ceremonies anymore.

They once did, and that's certain.

However, my source (and I'm not a Mason, so I don't know how to evaluate the source), claims that this was a conscious decision in the XVIII/XIX at the Grand Lodge in London, and that not all lodges went along at first. I have seen facsimiles of reports outlining very ancient Masonic rituals that claim a genesis from Solomon through the Knights Templar. Two Masonic historians show one of their rituals to be a (corrupted) version of the story of Hiram who was murdered in defense of the key words entrusted to him by Solomon.

I'm not defending this position, merely laying it out as I recall it from long ago. You are free to accept or reject it as you will.

Lehi

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Nibley asserted Masonic dependence upon the Renaissance Hermetic and Rosicrucian worldview, and traced the Masonic rites to St. Bernard (1090-1153), and to the ordinances of the medieval Knights Templars and Hospitalers (of St. John, which still exist as the Knights of Malta), and you can find his views in the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, XII: 319, where he says:

The Masonic rites have a lot in common with ours [LDS temple rites]. . . . they do have the same source, if you trace their's back. But what a different picture you see! They don't give any religious meaning to their's. They think of them as symbolic, as abstract, etc. They don't think of any particular realities behind them. They have nothing to do with salvation, and what they have is broken fragments. . . . They've picked them up from various times and places, and you can trace them back. But actually, they go back to very early times, and then you get the ordinances of the Knights Templar and the Hospitalers
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If you're interested in a brief history of the Templars, I suggest Piers Paul Read's work (though I'm sure there are better).

http://www.amazon.com/Templars-Dramatic-Powerful-Military-Crusades/dp/0306810719

Don't bother reading Matthew Brown's "Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons."

If you're interested in knowing what Mason's believe, I suggest you talk to a Mason.

While Nibley appealed to the Hopi rituals instead of the Masonic connection, Freemasonry is to me, the most reasonable origin for the endowment ritual. In light of this, I don't feel historic parallels (particularly in 40 day literature) should be ignored either.

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Don't bother reading Matthew Brown's "Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons."

If you're interested in knowing what Mason's [sic] believe, I suggest you talk to a Mason.

. . . . . and don't bother reading all of those quotes from Masonic scholars and historians in that book (you might get confused about what they think). Especially the Masonic quote about the Templar theory.

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. . . . . and don't bother reading all of those quotes from Masonic scholars and historians in that book (you might get confused about what they think). Especially the Masonic quote about the Templar theory.

A number of Mormon Masons such as Kerry Shirts, Clinton Bartholomew and Joe Swick all have serious problems with Brown's book, his conclusions and some of his source material, and they have very good reasons for this. I don't believe Brown's book nor Nibley's treatment on this are good materials to base one's position on.

Ed Goble

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A number of Mormon Masons . . . have serious problems with Brown's book, his conclusions and some of his source material

Wasn't that the Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Utah who appeared in Brown's video (which was based on his book)? Wasn't he a Mormon Mason?

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Okay, Nibley did claim that the Templars had remnants of temple rites and that the that the connection has been covered up and lost. However most scholars disagree with Nibley and say that there is no connection. I would love to see Nibley's research and why he believed that there is a connection.

I won't bother reading Brown's book on Mormons and masons. Sounds like he is scared of the idea that there is a connection between our rites and theirs.

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I won't bother reading Brown's book on Mormons and masons. Sounds like he is scared of the idea that there is a connection between our rites and theirs.

Unless you read the book you won't accurately understand what it says about "a connection" between Mormon and Masonic rites. And it says plenty about that issue.

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Wasn't that the Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Utah who appeared in Brown's video (which was based on his book)? Wasn't he a Mormon Mason?

I haven't seen Brown's video. I guess you must be referring to Glenn Cook, if I remember his name right.

Even if there are people that agree with Brown who are Masons, who are not in research lodges who can spout off stuff, and even if Brown can quote books, it doesn't mean his position is right or the best position one can take based on the best evidence.

Ed Goble

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Unless you read the book you won't accurately understand what it says about "a connection" between Mormon and Masonic rites. And it says plenty about that issue.

Sounds like you are an apologist for Brown's position for some reason....

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Why would you not want to read Brown's book? We should get multiple perspectives on this issue. Some Masons disagree with some of what he has to say. So what? Read both sides and evaluate. If there are criticisms of Brown's book, they should be published.

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A number of Mormon Masons such as Kerry Shirts, Clinton Bartholomew and Joe Swick all have serious problems with Brown's book, his conclusions and some of his source material, and they have very good reasons for this. I don't believe Brown's book nor Nibley's treatment on this are good materials to base one's position on.

Ed Goble

You can add Arturo DeHoyos and many MANY others to this list (both skeptic and believing Mormon). Here is Nick Literski's excellent review: http://mormonmatters.org/2009/10/29/book-review-exploring-the-connection-between-mormons-and-masons/

SkepticThesis, do a google search of__Helorum "Matthew Brown"__and you will very quickly figure out why Helorum is so concerned about the reputation of the book.

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Even if there are people that agree with Brown who are Masons, who are not in research lodges who can spout off stuff

You might want to consider all of the Masonic credentials of the Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Utah before you attempt to simply brush aside his viewpoints (which you admit you don't even know about).

even if Brown can quote books, it doesn't mean his position is right or the best position one can take based on the best evidence.

The same can be said of any Mormon Mason (or non-Mormon Mason). Just because they can "quote books" doesn't mean their position is right or that their views are even based on the "best evidence."

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Why would you not want to read Brown's book? We should get multiple perspectives on this issue. Some Masons disagree with some of what he has to say. So what? Read both sides and evaluate. If there are criticisms of Brown's book, they should be published.

If memory serves, Kerry has some videos out that detail some of his criticisms on Brown's positions (among his 900+ out there, which may be difficult to wade through).

I believe Clinton Bartholomew is publishing a book on this subject, but I don't know where he is at on it.

My book "The Nail of Heaven: LDS Cosmology, Metaphysics and Science" talks about the history of Masonry and where it comes from, and how it is related to the endowment. It is more about how ritual, myth and the endowment tie in to archeoastronomy. And it also details issues such as the Galactic Center Theory of Kolob and the Kirtland Egyptian Papers Cosmology and so forth, and reviews some of the positions taken in books such as Astronomy, Papyrus and Covenant and the Kolob Theorem, and so forth. So while it talks about the history of Masonry and so forth, it isn't specifically about that.

http://www.amazon.com/Nail-Heaven-Cosmology-Metaphysics-Science/dp/1456508229

Ed Goble

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You might want to consider all of the Masonic credentials of the Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Utah before you attempt to simply brush aside his viewpoints (which you admit you don't even know about).

The same can be said of any Mormon Mason (or non-Mormon Mason). Just because they can "quote books" doesn't mean their position is right or that their views are even based on the "best evidence."

I have talked to Glenn Cook face to face years ago when I was considering becoming a Mason, but I don't agree with his viewpoints if he agrees with Brown.

And I have a historic lack of reverence for academic authority to some degree, especially when people attempt to silence me with it, so don't try an appeal to authority fallacy on me, appealing to Cook's credentials.

Ed Goble

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If memory serves, [there are] some videos out that detail . . . criticisms on Brown's positions

Modified from your previous quote: "even if [anyone] can quote books, it doesn't mean [their] position is right or the best position one can take based on the best evidence."

Even when criticisms are offered those criticisms are subject to criticism - to determine whether they are valid.

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Modified from your previous quote: "even if [anyone] can quote books, it doesn't mean [their] position is right or the best position one can take based on the best evidence."

Even when criticisms are offered those criticisms are subject to criticism - to determine whether they are valid.

Well, that much I agree with. If you are Matt, then I suggest you write a follow up book then, refuting these guys.

Ed Goble

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I have a historic lack of reverence for academic authority . . . so don't try an appeal to authority fallacy on me

And yet you have promoted a book written by yourself on this very thread.

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And yet you have promoted a book written by yourself on this very thread.

And why should I not promote it? Its not like I have a big publishing company to promote it like other people. Its not like FAIR or FARMS cares about me from Adam to promote my book for me, so it is all up to me. Others have quite a big network of people who are their fans that buy all their books like a cult following. I have no such things. I have no choir that I can preach to like many LDS scholars.

Besides, its not like I have academic authority. I am as much an amateur as many people, but at least I research stuff as much as the next guy researches what he writes. Don't turn this into an ad homoneim now on me please. The fact that I have chosen to mention my book has nothing to do with whether Brown's book holds up or not.

Ed Goble

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refuting these guys

I'm aware of quite a large amount of research and writing (some published, some not) that has already done the job.

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I'm aware of quite a large amount of research and writing (some published, some not) that has already done the job.

Sounds like since you are an apologist for Brown, then the burden is on you to provide it if you so choose on this thread.

I think I've said enough, and all you have chosen to do is rip on me with logical fallacies.

Ed Goble

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