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Masons, Mormons & Knights Templars


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#1 zelder

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 02:01 PM

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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#2 SkepticTheist

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 09:49 PM

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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#3 Robert F. Smith

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:56 AM

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 those were the two early secret orders that were imported into Europe in the time of the Crusades. But these were actually based on Solomon's Temple and on work for the dead. If you read St. Bernard he wrote both the prologue and constitution for the Hospitalers (we have that still) he shows that it goes back to the time of the Maccabees. At the time of the Maccabees, many of the Jews went off and worshiped false gods, etc., and when they lost the battle, many of the dead were found with pagan amulets around their necks showing that they had apostatized from the God of Israel. Well, they had died as heroes for the cause, and they wondered, "What can we do to get them saved? Well, we can do their work in the Temple by proxy." So a vast fund of money was provided to have this work done so that these could be saved by having them baptized, etc., in the Temple (II Maccabees 12:34-45). And this is the tradition that is carried on by these Knights Templars and Hospitalers it was actually work for the dead. But all this is covered up and lost later on.

For further on the Knights Templar and Hospitalers, see H. Nibley, "Jerusalem: In Christianity," Encyclopaedia Judaica, IX (1971), cols 1572-1573, and "Christian Envy of the Temple," Jewish Quarterly Review, 50 (1959), 97-123.
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#4 cinepro

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 10:38 AM

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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#5 LeSellers

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 03:45 PM

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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#6 Bill Hamblin

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:07 PM

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 those were the two early secret orders that were imported into Europe in the time of the Crusades. But these were actually based on Solomon's Temple and on work for the dead. If you read St. Bernard he wrote both the prologue and constitution for the Hospitalers (we have that still) he shows that it goes back to the time of the Maccabees. At the time of the Maccabees, many of the Jews went off and worshiped false gods, etc., and when they lost the battle, many of the dead were found with pagan amulets around their necks showing that they had apostatized from the God of Israel. Well, they had died as heroes for the cause, and they wondered, "What can we do to get them saved? Well, we can do their work in the Temple by proxy." So a vast fund of money was provided to have this work done so that these could be saved by having them baptized, etc., in the Temple (II Maccabees 12:34-45). And this is the tradition that is carried on by these Knights Templars and Hospitalers it was actually work for the dead. But all this is covered up and lost later on.

For further on the Knights Templar and Hospitalers, see H. Nibley, "Jerusalem: In Christianity," Encyclopaedia Judaica, IX (1971), cols 1572-1573, and "Christian Envy of the Temple," Jewish Quarterly Review, 50 (1959), 97-123.


Nibley's claims here are rather confused and unsubstantiated.

1- There is no contemporary evidence of Templars resurrecting ancient ordinances. These claims all derive from Neo-Templar mythologies of the 18th century. Likewise claimed links between Freemasons and Templars are all mid to late 18th century developments. Scholars call these types of claims Neo-Templar movements.
2- Bernard was involved in writing the Rule for the Templars (not Hospitallers) at the Council of Troyes in 1129, but did not write it entirely. It was based on the Cistercian reformations of the Benedictine rule. Much of the Templar Rule was written after Bernard. The Rule can be read in Upton-Ward, The Rule of the Templars. Bernard wrote, "In Praise of the New Knighthood" (tr. C. Greenia, 2000), which is an ideological essay on the sanctity of the Templar Order and holy warfare. See also Barber and Bate, The Templars: Selected Sources Translated and Annotated for numerous primary sources.
3- The Maccabees raised money for their dead soldiers who wore pagan amulets to perform sin-offerings for them in the temple, not be baptize them for the dead. Now it is a form of salvation for the dead, but it is not baptism for the dead. The Maccabees were invoked by the Templars as exemplars of holy warriors--especially Judas--not for their rituals.
4- All claims that the Templars found secret treasure or texts hidden in the Temple Mount are modern fiction, with no contemporary medieval sources to support the claims. See Partner, The Knights Templar and their Myth,
5- The accusations of heresy and magic at the trial of the Templars were essentially fabrications. See Barber, The Trial of the Templars (2006) and Burgtorf The Debate on the Trial of the Templars (2010). See also the Chinon Parchment, from the Vatican Archives, where the Pope absolved the Templars.
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#7 kolipoki09

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 02:40 AM

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.co...s/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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#8 Helorum

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:20 AM

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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#9 SkepticTheist

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:38 AM

. . . . . 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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#10 Helorum

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:52 AM

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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#11 zelder

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 09:54 AM

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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#12 Helorum

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:02 AM

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.

Edited by Helorum, 07 February 2011 - 10:05 AM.

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#13 SkepticTheist

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:09 AM

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.

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#14 SkepticTheist

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:10 AM

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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#15 Bill Hamblin

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:15 AM

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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#16 Mike Reed

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:18 AM

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...ons-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.

Edited by Mike Reed, 07 February 2011 - 10:20 AM.

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#17 Helorum

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:21 AM

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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#18 SkepticTheist

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:25 AM

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.co...e/dp/1456508229

Ed Goble
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#19 SkepticTheist

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:29 AM

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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#20 Helorum

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 10:35 AM

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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