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Interesting Annointing Ceremony described by Cyril of Jerusalem


mpschmitt

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Oh please. These are central elements to the LDS endowment, and you know it.

Apostle John A. Widtsoe explained:

“The endowment given to members of the Church in the temples falls into several divisions. First, there is a course of instruction relative to man’s eternal journey from the dim beginnings towards his possible glorious destiny. Then, conditions are set up by which that endless journey may be upward in direction. Those who receive this information covenant to obey the laws of eternal progress, and thereby give live to the knowledge received. Finally, it is made clear that a man must sometimes give an account of his deeds, and prove the possession of divine knowledge and religious works. It is a very beautiful, logical and inspiring series of ceremonies” (A Rational Theology, seventh edition, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1965, pages 125–26).

Your dismissal of these parallels as insignificant is delusional, if not blatantly dishonest.

So that being said, mfbukowski, I am afraid that you are making a distinction without a difference.

And you are seeing similarites without any distinctions whatsoever.

Delusional and blatantly dishonest? I must be hitting close to home to have you restort to such incredibly unprofessional ad hominem attacks.

I think this discussion has gone about as far as it can.

I said that the similarities you cited between the endowment and masonry were about as "similar" as the wizard of Oz and the endowment, and from the "evidence" you have provided, I stand totally unimpressed.

That quote of Widtsoe is about as general as the wizard of oz itself. "Dim beginnings to glorious destiny"? "Upward in direction"? "Eternal progress"?Give me a break! Hardly strong detailed analysis of theological similarities to the plan of salvation! Of course that is included in the endowment, but Widtsoe doesn't want to make it any more specific than I do, for the same reasons, because to do so would be to go beyond what is appropriate discussion of the subject outside of the temple.

And Chapter 9 of "Speculative Masonry", your great rosetta stone of evidence is only slightly more specific. Very slightly. It discuss the ark, it discuss architecture and it discusses "the word" and the secret name of God, and it asserts the notion that masonry and early christianity were one and the same.

The question was, what DETAILED THEOLOGICAL SIMILARITIES are there which are found in masonry and in the endowment, pointing to the plan of salvation as understood in LDS theology. Lest anyone think that I am ignoring or concealing the "smoking gun" which you have now found, I will quote Chapter 9 of Speculative Masonry in its entirety so anyone could judge for themselves. I ran it through some OCR software, so the spelling etc is a bit ragged in places, and you have already given the url in your previous post. It's a bit long, but I think it's necessary to quote.

CHAPTER IX.

Ancient Masonry, Ancient Christianity.

WHEN we speak of Masonry anterior to the building of Solomon's temple, we do not mean to be understood of an Institution regularly organized. We do not mean to convey an idea that individuals were associated and convened at seasons regularly appointed, and at places exclusively or principally devoted to Masonic purposes. We do not intend to be unstood that similar ceremonies were observed at opening and closing, or of conferring the degrees, as at the present day. We do not intend to affirm the existence of forms as in-dispensable in the Masonic economy, according to its ancient acceptation. But we wish to be understood as speaking of principles geometrical, moral, religious and sacred. Let this explanation be carefully recollected, that no misapprehensions may hereafter arise. According to this explanation, therefore, we shall attempt to show, that ancient Masonry comprised what may, with much propriety, be termed ancient Christianity. Although the term Christianity is peculiarly applicable to the New Testament dispensation, yet, in treating of this subject, it will

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be used as ,a comprehensive term to express whatever, in ancient times, involved religious and - sacred 'considerations, or such principles as are found to comport with true religion,' as more clearly revealed in the New Testament.

In speaking, .therefore, of ancient Masonry, or its ancient patrons, we are to understand nothing more than a knowledge of those principles, which, in due time, gave rise to the Institution in its organized state, and now-constitute the great. excellence of the System.

It is thought, sufficient evidence has been exhibited, in the former part of this work, as to the knowledge of those operative principles of geometry, or Masonry, displayed in the construction of the Ark. This building, we are informed, was erected through the agency of Noah, under Divine superintendence. And Noah, being an inspired man, as well as a preacher of righteousness, most probably had some true knowledge of those spiritual allusions, so manifestly designed to convey moral instruction to bicnself and to his descendants.

If, therefore, religious knowledge, as to sacred and divine subjects, is now attainable, through this medium, the same truths must have existed, in. each antecedent pe-

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rind, since the days of Noah, and might have been discovered and duly improved, And if 'we, in this age of the world, can discover those very interesting and sublime allusions involved in the typical application of the ark, may we net reasonably suppose, that Noah, as an inspired man, bad a more deep and affecting sense of their moral and spiritual applications. It hence appears, that ancient geometry or Masonry, in relation to the ark, did involve many religious truths. Just as far, therefore, as the mind was led, through this medium, to contemplate the Divine plan in the economy of redemption, just so far ancient Masonry involved ancient Christianity. If the ark was originally designed to prefigure the eternal salvation of man, through the temporal deliverance of Noah and his family, we have much reason to believe it was thus understood by that holy man.

The tabernacle, erected by Moses, fur, nishes another source of religious instruction. A knowledge of the form and workmanship of this moveable tent was, by inspiration, communicated to Moses. All the appendages, as well as the whole service, presented many obvious allusions to future events, and prefigured many important facts, 'in relation to the Divine plan)

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as now displayed in the moral system. No doubt, the Jews were taught much relig pus truth from those symbols. At the feast of tahernacles, it appears, that 'occasion was taken to lead their minds from visible, objects to contemplate the invisible things of God, in the future manifestations of his goodness and mercy.

• This tabernacle, with all its appendages, was evidently designed by Jehovah, to bring to view religious truths. No doubt, therefore, can be entertained but such knowledge was thence derived according to Divine purpose.

A knowledge, belief and due reverence of the Divine WORD, constitutes the very essence of all true religion, whether ancient or modern. St. John begins his. gospel by saving, 11 In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD-. was with God, and the woRn-was God." - Even that Ou,nipotent Being, "who spake and it was done, who commanded and it stood 'fast :" For whom, by 'whom, and through whom, all things visible and invisible subsist. That infinite Personage, through 'whose mmmediatorial office•work are displayed every Divine attribute and perfection, which.angels admire, and men is' bound lo love and, adore. This worm; however mysterious it may appear to the world, has been un-

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derstood, and held sacred by the Masonic order from time immemorial.

From every .consideration, therefore, which has been presented on this subject,. we have much reason to conclude, that those holy patriarchs of antiquity who understood the name and true character of God, were, in that sense, according to an-client acceptation, patrons of the genuine-and fundamental principles of Masonry.— Just as far as they did understand and ern-brace and patronise such principles, they understood, embraced and patronised what now are, and ever have been, as far as records can be traced, absolutely essential to. the Masonic Institution.

The more substantial part of modern Free-Masonry, consists in exhibiting the great outlines of the Divine economy, in relation to an intelligent universe ; in presenting to view our numerous social and relative duties ; impressing the heart with a lively sense of moral propriety ; and in preparing mankind for the sublime entertainments of a happy immortality.

May we not hence conclude, that those venerable patriarchs of ancient times, were, in many respects, led to a discovery of that blessedness, which should afterwards be revealed •; that they were made- to understand, by special revelation, most if not

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all, of the typical allusions of their altars, and the event prefigured in the choice- of their sacrifices ; that the whole service of the tabernacle, while in the wilderness, was spiritualized, in a very solemn manner, to the understandings of the pious and devout worshipper ; and that the temple of Soloannon,-also, displayed, to the contemplative mind, a still higber exhibition of the eteriial purposes of Jehovah, in the great plan of redemption.

That all - these things pointed, in some shape, to the great sacrifice which was to atone for the sins of the world, is now abundantly evident. . And that most, if not all, of the ancient fathers, did thus understand them, is highly probable, if not certain.---This sacrifice was the eternal WORD, or the second Person in the adorable Trinity, as manifested in the flesh. The same WORD, by which Masons in every country do now recognize each other, as having been. regularly advanced to the more sublime degrees. This WORD, with its Masonic pronunciation, can, for a certainty, be traced back in the Institution- for more than two thousand years. If so, it affords- strong -presumptive evidence, to say the least, that it. has descended, not merely from the building of the temple, but even from the ancient fathers, to.yvhom God himself com-

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municated the knowledge of his holy name. However this may have been, the period cannot be fixed when the true name of God was not known and reverenced in the Masonic Institution. Since, therefore, every fudamental principle of our holy religion, emanates from, and centres in Him " who is the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his person," just as anciently as the reverential use of this Name can be traced in our Institution, just so long, it must appear, that ancient Masonry was, in a very important sense, ancient Christianity. In whatever extent it. shall be found, that those principles, which are now comprised in our system, were, in ancient times, understood in a spiritual sense, as to the ark of Noah, the tabernacle of Nloses, and the temple of Solomon, in the same extent, we must be allowed to infer, that ancient Masonry was of a sacred and religious nature.

We cannot deny that the device and workmanship of those buildings, had a Divine origin, and we doubt not, but a knowledge of their mystical allusions, was also divinely intended, so that something of the invisible things of God might thereby be manifested. Hence, we again infer from the eternal purpose of God, that whatever religious knowledge was, either wholly, or

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in part, derived through this medium, may properly be termed ancient Christianity.

Ceremonies of service necessar•ihv tollowed, and depended on, the establishment of those buildings. All the utensils of service, therefore, had their appropriate allusions and were wisely -calculated to inspire the mind with serious and devout contemplations. The thing signified, in connexion with whatever was the type, would lead the devout worshipper, from the view of the one, seriously to contemplate the -other.

We must, -therefore, conclude some religious knowledge must necessarily have been drawn from the very construction, as well as application, of those things which were wrought according to. the principles of geometry or Masonry.

Herein is great wisdom displayed. The divine plan was not rneretyr intended to be brought to view, but also carried into effect, through the instrumentality of numerous subordinate means. -Hence it seetned good in the sight of Omnipotence to direct Moses to build a tabernacle, and -thereby unfold many interesting truths embraced in the plan of redemption. It was also put into the heart. of David' to give a solemn charge to Solomon his son, to build a house to the name of the God of Israel. And

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Solomon, in executing this great and glorious work, was instrumental of displaying the Divine economy, in a much greater degree than had been done in any antecedent period.

If, therefore, it be true, that any thing of ancient Masonry consisted in bringing to view more aud,more of the divine plan, in the great moral -system ; in unfolding the deep mysteries of redemption, and leading the mind to a discovery of those interesting truths, which are connected with eternal salvation, we must conclude it partook, in the same extent, of the nature of a moral and religious institution.

It is, therefore, thought, from what has been suggested,.every brother may obtain satisfactory, evidence, in his own mind, as to the-truth of our first proposition, that ancient Masonry, in this sense of the term, was. ancient' Christianity.

Very little theology, no plan of salvation whatsoever, nothing linking specific symbols with specific doctrines as is found in the endowment.

In fairness the other book you mentioned I have not read, but dealing simply with your summary, the point you are trying to make is "upside down" in logic. The question here is not if Joseph was "attempting to christianize Masonry". Think about it.

If Joseph was in fact attempting to christianize Masonry, which I think is absurd, but anyway, it proves the fact that the masonry he knew was not Christian.

So it could not possibly have been a model for the endowment, could it?

There is not much point in carrying this further.

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And you are seeing similarites without any distinctions whatsoever.

I can speak very well for myself, thank you. No. I accept that there are distinctions. I just don't accept the ones you are trying to invent. It is not true that there are no (notice the absolute) theological similarities, as you initially asserted. I have revealed a few (among many) theological similarities to debunk such a haplessly uninformed claim. And when you then "rebutted" (or at least tried to) by claiming that the LDS endowment is distinct from freemasonry, since it is centered on Christ, you were again proven wrong, as I informed you of the masonic movement led by Salem Town (and others) who sought to re-Christianize freemasonry, and who explicitly claimed that the rituals were indeed Christ centered.

Delusional and blatantly dishonest? I must be hitting close to home to have you restort to such incredibly unprofessional ad hominem attacks.

Nope. Delusional OR blatantly dishonest. Againâ?¦ the parallels that I cited are far from insignificant. They are central elements to both freemasonry and the endowment, and the Widtsoe quote confirms this fact. Since you have been endowed, you cannot claim ignorance. So... as far as I see it, this leaves only two other options: Delusion or Dishonesty. I wish it were otherwise.

I think this discussion has gone about as far as it can.

I don't doubt that. When someone refuses to accept reality for what it is, there is little reason to debate further.

I said that the similarities you cited between the endowment and masonry were about as "similar" as the wizard of Oz and the endowment, and from the "evidence" you have provided, I stand totally unimpressed.

There are several similarities. The few that I have listed pertain to the larger theological parallels. I could list several more parallels, or (here is an idea) you could again try to make another distinction. So far, you have yet to make a single point. You were wrong in both claims 1) that there are no theological parallels, and 2) that masons didn't view their rituals as Christ centered. You have two strikes. Care for another pitch? Go ahead... try to make another theological distinction.

That quote of Widtsoe is about as general as the wizard of oz itself. "Dim beginnings to glorious destiny"? "Upward in direction"? "Eternal progress"?

Of course it is general. It is general because it is the basic theological framework of the endowment.

Give me a break! Hardly strong detailed analysis of theological similarities to the plan of salvation!

You can't see the forest for the trees, can you? We were talking about large theological parallels, but now you want to focus on the smaller details that have little to do with theology... as if those smaller details would outweigh the larger theological framework. It's not gonna happen. But if you want to focus on small details, knock yourself out... you can start by confronting these parts of the Masonic ceremony that are described David Bernard's "Light On Masonry" (1829):

"Q. What was you next presented with?

A. A new name." (34)

"As the Sun rules the day and the Moon governs the night..." (33)

"after having taken each other by the grip, ask him, 'What is this?' A. 'A grip.' Q. 'A grip of what?' A. 'The grip of a Fellow Craft Mason.' Q 'Has it a name?' A. 'It has.' Q. 'Will you give it to me?' A. 'I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it.'" (46)

"Brother, I now have the honor of presenting you with a lamb-skin, or white apron, as before, which I hope you will continue to wear with honor to yourself...." (47)

"the token, alias, the pass-grip, is given, as before described, by taking each other by the right hand, as if shaking hands, and placing the thumb between the fore finger and the second finger, at the third joint, or where they joined the hand, and pressing it hard enough to attract attention." (49)

"of my own free will and accord, in presence of Almighty God, and this Worshipful Lodge of Master Masons... do hereby and hereon, most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, in addition to my former obligations, that I will not give the degree of the Master Mason...." (61)

"binding myself under no less penalty than to have my body severed in two in the midst, and divided to the north and south, my bowels burnt to ashes in the centre, and the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven." (63)

"The sign is given by raising both hands and arms to the elbows perpendicularly, one on either side of the head, the elbows forming a square. The words accompanying this sign in case of distress, are, 'O Lord my God, is there no help for the widow's son.' As the last words drop from your lips you let your hands fall in that manner..." (64)

"He [the candidate] is raised on what is called the five points of fellowship, which are foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back, and mouth to ear.... [in which position you are alone permitted to give the word,] and whisper the word Mah-hah-bone.... The Master whispers the word Mah-hah-bone in his ear, and causes the candidate to repeat it, and telling him at the same time that he must never give it in any manner other than that which he receives it.--He is also told that Mah-hah-bone, signifies marrow in the bone." (69-70)

"I was conducted to the door of the lodge, where I gave three distinct knocks." (75)

"O! That my throat had been cut across, my tongue torn out...." (80)

"we should be ever watchful and guarded, in our thoughts, words, and actions..." (83)

"[W]hen the cold winter of death shall have passed, and the bright summer's mourn of the resurrection appears, the Son of Righteousness shall descend, and send for th his angels to collect our ransomed dust; then, if we are found worthy, by his pass-word, we shall enter into the celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides...." (84)

"The candidate then advances... puts his mouth to the Tyler's ear, and whispers, LOS, and pronounces LOS.*

....

*This word is an inversion of SOL, the Sun, and is very applicable as a Masonic test." (86)

Of course that is included in the endowment, but Widtsoe doesn't want to make it any more specific than I do, for the same reasons, because to do so would be to go beyond what is appropriate discussion of the subject outside of the temple.

If we are going to talk only about theological similarities, you shouldn't have any problem. It is in the smaller details (with less theological significance, outside of the fact that they are Christ-centered) that you will run into problems.

And Chapter 9 of "Speculative Masonry", your great rosetta stone of evidence is only slightly more specific. Very slightly. It discuss the ark, it discuss architecture and it discusses "the word" and the secret name of God, and it asserts the notion that masonry and early christianity were one and the same.

{sigh} You are lost. NO. I did not cite chapter nine for the purpose of illustrating parallels. Look at the remark I was responding directly to. I cited chapter nine to prove to you that, contrary to your false claim, some Masons DID INDEED believe that Masonic ritual was Christ centered. Plain and simple, that is it.

Here are your words again:

No, the endowment is centered on the savior and becoming like him from beginning to end. Every statement and symbol points to him. We start in the pre-existence and end in the celestial kingdom and at every point the plan of salvation is evident. Not so with Masonry. The endowment is a recapitulation of every step we go through and is extraordinarily symbolically detailed. Every nuance has a meaning.

Page 57, for example, says:

"all pointed to those sublime events which issued in man's redemption. All things pointed to the purification of the soul, through the office-work of the promised Messiah, to the great atonement which should be wrought out by him, to the calling of the Gentiles, to the future of the glory of the church on earth, and to the final admission of the righteous to that 'temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.'"

page 83:

"That all these things pointed, in some shape, to the great sacrifice which was to atone for the sins of the world, is now abundantly evident. And that most, if not all, of the ancient fathers, did thus understand them, is highly probable, if not certain.â??This sacrifice was the eternal WORD, or the second Person in the adorable Trinity, as manifest in the flesh."

page 113:

"All pointed to the eternal priesthood of the Son of God, who by his own blood made atonement for sin, and consecrated the way to the Holy of Holies."

There are some distinct differences between the LDS endowment and Masonic ritual, but Christ-centered-ness is not one of them.

Very little theology, no plan of salvation whatsoever, nothing linking specific symbols with specific doctrines as is found in the endowment.

Again... I quoted the chapter to prove to you that some Masons believed their ritual was Christ centered. If you wanted something that more closely parallels the endowment narrative, you could have read chapter 8.

http://books.google.com/books?id=CSsiAAAAM...mp;dq=#PPA71,M1

Read the whole book, for that matter. It isn't very long.

In fairness the other book you mentioned I have not read, but dealing simply with your summary, the point you are trying to make is "upside down" in logic.

No it is not.

The question here is not if Joseph was "attempting to christianize Masonry". Think about it.

Thinking... but still not following you.

If Joseph was in fact attempting to christianize Masonry, which I think is absurd, but anyway, it proves the fact that the masonry he knew was not Christian.

Man you are lost. (shaking head) The masonic movement to re-Christianize freemasonry started before the 1820s. Joseph's endowment came decades later, by the time the movement had already been well established. Joseph smith obviously sided with this movementâ??believing that freemasonry, in its purest form, was Christ centered.

So it could not possibly have been a model for the endowment, could it?

{chuckle} That is quite the back-bending acrobatics you are performing, but you have traveled nowhere.

There is not much point in carrying this further.

Drop the ultra-conservative apologetic stance, and then we might actually get somewhere. Until you do this, I agree that carrying this discussion further would be pointless.

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This is from a document I saw on scribd.com comparing Mormon ceremonies to Wiccan ones; it discusses the ritual annointing with kisses that takes place in some Wiccan ceremonies:

After the "death test", the initiate is washed. In this ritual complex, the initiate is clothed in the ritual garb. For Mormons ...[deleted temple content]. For Wiccans the garb is a little more austere, consisting of cords only. The apprentice then gives his ritual name. There is a challenge, and a password is given. In witchcraft, the initiate is brought back to the altar, and the "fivefold kiss" is administered. The apprentice is kissed five times corresponding to the following formula which is recited by the High Priestess; Blessed are your feet, which have brought you in these ways. Blessed are your knees, that kneel at the sacred alter. Blessed is your sex, without which we could not be. Blessed are your breasts, formed in strength and beauty. Blessed are your lips, which shall speak the sacred names.
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This is from a document I saw on scribd.com comparing Mormon ceremonies to Wiccan ones; it discusses the ritual annointing with kisses that takes place in some Wiccan ceremonies:

Kamenraider,

Wicca is not, as it sometimes dramatizes itself, any kind of ancient paganism. Rather, it is a very recent attempt to reinvent paganism without any ancient sources. IOW, their rituals resemble ours only to the extent that they are "borrowed" from us.

Mfbukowski,

I long ago realised that certain types of apostates love nothing more than to profane what is sacred to us. They will take any excuse they can find to post temple content, or something resembling it, at every opportunity, simply for the spiteful pleasure it gives them. I more recently realised that Mr. Reed (M. A Cand) is one of those apostates. The more you try to refute him, the more such material he will gleefully splash across cyberspace. The only way to win the argument would be to go even farther than he has gone; which is, of course, inconscionable. His polemical approach, therefore, is a kind of brinkmanship, a game of chicken in which only you have anything to lose: namely, your integrity. And it is much too valuable for that.

Frankly, I think he has brazenly broken the rules and should be immediately banned; but that is not up to me. But I strongly advise you to stop giving him anything resembling an excuse to keep posting near-temple content.

Because if you do, he will milk it for all he can.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Kamenraider,

Wicca is not, as it sometimes dramatizes itself, any kind of ancient paganism. Rather, it is a very recent attempt to reinvent paganism without any ancient sources. IOW, their rituals resemble ours only to the extent that they are "borrowed" from us.

Mfbukowski,

I long ago realised that certain types of apostates love nothing more than to profane what is sacred to us. They will take any excuse they can find to post temple content, or something resembling it, at every opportunity, simply for the spiteful pleasure it gives them. I more recently realised that Mr. Reed (M. A Cand) is one of those apostates. The more you try to refute him, the more such material he will gleefully splash across cyberspace. The only way to win the argument would be to go even farther than he has gone; which is, of course, inconscionable. His polemical approach, therefore, is a kind of brinkmanship, a game of chicken in which only you have anything to lose: namely, your integrity. And it is much too valuable for that.

Frankly, I think he has brazenly broken the rules and should be immediately banned; but that is not up to me. But I strongly advise you to stop giving him anything resembling an excuse to keep posting near-temple content.

Because if you do, he will milk it for all he can.

Regards,

Pahoran

Near-temple content? Not actually temple content. But freemasonry. But it isnâ??t against the rules to reveal details of the Masonic rituals. Are you confirming that the parallels exist? Actually... it is against the rules to talk about the sensitive details of the endowment. I have been very careful to not reveal those sensitive details. So there is no justified reason to ban me. The rules can be changed to forbid the talk of Freemasonryâ?¦ but this hasnâ??t happened yet. And if (and when) it does, I will be perfectly willing to follow the wishes of the moderators.

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Kamenraider,

Wicca is not, as it sometimes dramatizes itself, any kind of ancient paganism. Rather, it is a very recent attempt to reinvent paganism without any ancient sources. IOW, their rituals resemble ours only to the extent that they are "borrowed" from us.

...

Is Freemasonry of recent invention as well? I only ask because both Wicca and Freemasonry seem to contain many elements and symbols that have been around a very long time. Perhaps elements such as ritual washing or anointing weren't directly borrowed.

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Is Freemasonry of recent invention as well? I only ask because both Wicca and Freemasonry seem to contain many elements and symbols that have been around a very long time. Perhaps elements such as ritual washing or anointing weren't directly borrowed.

Modern Wicca derives some of its ritual from the Golden Dawn, a highly ritualistic magical society around the turn of the century. The Golden Dawn ritual also drew from various esoteric forms of Freemasonry as well as other sources.

In regard to Freemasonic influences on Mormonism, Mike Reed seems still incapable of understanding the difference a necessary cause and a sufficient cause. He also seems incapable of understanding the fallacy of the perfect analogy. Finally, he is unwilling to note the distinctions between Masonic ritual, and interpretations of that ritual. What the ritual explicitly says and how people have interpreted the esoteric meaning of that ritual are two quite different things, especially when we remember that there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of different interpretations of the meaning of Freemasonry throughout the centuries. In other words he engages in precisely the same methodological errors that anti-Mormons always engage in when dealing with Freemasonry.

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A fourth methodological problem that Mike shares with nearly all anti-Mormons writing on the subject is the unwillingness to distinguish between form and meaning in symbolism. Precisely the same symbol--word, gesture, image, etc--can have completely different meanings in difference interpretative contexts. The classic example is the Swastika, with its associations in the West with the horrors of Nazism. In the Buddhist world, it is an auspicious religious symbol. Every Buddhist temple in Tibet I visited had one. For example, as far as I am aware, hand-clasps in Freemasonry are designed as tokens of recognition between human Freemasons. Likewise, as far as I am aware, Endowment handclasps are never used as tokens of recognition between human Mormons.

A fifth methodological problem is the unwillingness to examine the importance and meaning of differences. As an exercise, I suggest someone get a yellow highlighter and go through the text of the Masonic ceremony and highlight all similarities with the LDS endowment. Then go through another copy of the Masonic ceremony and highlight all the differences. It is overwhelming how the difference copy is nearly completely yellow, and the similarity copy has only occasional patches of yellow, many pages with none at all.

If Mike wants to move beyond the neener-neener level of discourse, he needs to carefully and thoughtfully engage these and other issues.

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hand-clasps in Freemasonry are designed as tokens of recognition between human Freemasons. Likewise, as far as I am aware, Endowment handclasps are never used as tokens of recognition between human Mormons.
Is one free to understand "mortal" when seeing "human" in these sentences?

Lehi

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Is one free to understand "mortal" when seeing "human" in these sentences?

Lehi

Yes. I guess that's ambiguous. What I mean is the tokens are exchanged between symbolic angels/God and mortals. Angels and God are not involved in exchange of tokens in Freemasonry.

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In regard to Freemasonic influences on Mormonism, Mike Reed seems still incapable of understanding the difference a necessary cause and a sufficient cause.

I know the difference. My position is that Freemasonry was a "contributory cause." I have already acknowledged other possible sources from which Joseph Smith could have received ideas to produce the endowment. Don't you remember? Folk Magic, Freemasonry, Catholicism, and the Bible?

He also seems incapable of understanding the fallacy of the perfect analogy.

Not true. I have already conceded that there are some distinct differences between the endowment and freemasonry. Haven't you read the thread?

Finally, he is unwilling to note the distinctions between Masonic ritual, and interpretations of that ritual.

Ah... because I didn't note it, I must therefore be unwilling to note it. I see you are trying to read my mind again.

What the ritual explicitly says and how people have interpreted the esoteric meaning of that ritual are two quite different things

True. But how does this fact undermine what I have argued so far in this thread? Do you deny that the movement to re-Christianize freemasonry persuaded Masonic orders (such as the Odd Fellow's "white degree") to revise/amend their rituals?

especially when we remember that there are literally dozens, if not hundreds of different interpretations of the meaning of Freemasonry throughout the centuries.

And the same could be said about Masonic rituals (particularly during Smith's day), so I still don't see your point.

In other words he engages in precisely the same methodological errors that anti-Mormons always engage in when dealing with Freemasonry.

You are arguing out of context, I am afraid. See above.

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Angels and God are not involved in exchange of tokens in Freemasonry.

"[W]hen the cold winter of death shall have passed, and the bright summer's mourn of the resurrection appears, the Son of Righteousness shall descend, and send for th his angels to collect our ransomed dust; then, if we are found worthy, by his pass-word, we shall enter into the celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides...." (Light on Masonry, 84)

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A fourth methodological problem that Mike shares with nearly all anti-Mormons writing on the subject is the unwillingness to distinguish between form and meaning in symbolism. Precisely the same symbol--word, gesture, image, etc--can have completely different meanings in difference interpretative contexts.

I have never asserted otherwise.

The classic example is the Swastika, with its associations in the West with the horrors of Nazism. In the Buddhist world, it is an auspicious religious symbol. Every Buddhist temple in Tibet I visited had one. For example, as far as I am aware, hand-clasps in Freemasonry are designed as tokens of recognition between human Freemasons. Likewise, as far as I am aware, Endowment handclasps are never used as tokens of recognition between human Mormons.

You are still arguing out of context.

A fifth methodological problem is the unwillingness to examine the importance and meaning of differences. As an exercise, I suggest someone get a yellow highlighter and go through the text of the Masonic ceremony and highlight all similarities with the LDS endowment. Then go through another copy of the Masonic ceremony and highlight all the differences. It is overwhelming how the difference copy is nearly completely yellow, and the similarity copy has only occasional patches of yellow, many pages with none at all.

Still arguing out of context. I have already conceded that there are distinct differences between the two. This does not negate the fact that Joseph Smith incorporated several Masonic elements into endowment, and in some areas, utilized Masonic ritual as its basic framework.

If Mike wants to move beyond the neener-neener level of discourse, he needs to carefully and thoughtfully engage these and other issues.

And for you, I suggest reading the thread more carefully. This will help to ensure that you don't argue out of context again.

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Near-temple content? Not actually temple content. But freemasonry. But it isnâ??t against the rules to reveal details of the Masonic rituals. Are you confirming that the parallels exist?

Thank you, Mike Reed (M.A. Cand) for so kindly confirming what I said about your brinkmanship method. Following your methodology, it would be trivially easy to construct "parallels" to the ordinances of the Temple simply by stringing together excerpts from a dictionary; then, when challenged on them, you could strike a faux-innocent pose, point to that source, and "ask" whether your reconstructions have been accurate.

As you perfectly well know, to engage your "parallels" it is necessary to go into far more detail than is proper for a Latter-day Saint with any integrity, either here or anywhere. You are quite ruthlessly and cynically exploiting this fact.

Actually... it is against the rules to talk about the sensitive details of the endowment. I have been very careful to not reveal those sensitive details. There is no justified reason to ban me. The rules can be changed to forbid the talk of Freemasonryâ?¦ but this hasnâ??t happened yet. And if (and when) it does, I will be perfectly willing to follow the wishes of the moderators.

Indeed, you appear to have scrupulously kept to the letter of the rules, even while flagrantly flouting the spirit of them.

The intent of the no-temple-talk rule is to establish a level playing field where believing Latter-day Saints can participate without worrying about sacred matters being profaned.

Matthew 7:6 should always be adhered to in this forum; it predicts your behaviour with unerring accuracy. Whenever temple topics are discussed in this forum, there you are, trampling and rending.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Thank you, Mike Reed (M.A. Cand) for so kindly confirming what I said about your brinkmanship method. Following your methodology, it would be trivially easy to construct "parallels" to the ordinances of the Temple simply by stringing together excerpts from a dictionary; then, when challenged on them, you could strike a faux-innocent pose, point to that source, and "ask" whether your reconstructions have been accurate.

Why do you say that this is my methodology? Explain in detail please.

As you perfectly well know, to engage your "parallels" it is necessary to go into far more detail than is proper for a Latter-day Saint with any integrity, either here or anywhere. You are quite ruthlessly and cynically exploiting this fact.

And one could claim that you are "exploiting this fact" to avoid engaging in a real debate.

Indeed, you appear to have scrupulously kept to the letter of the rules, even while flagrantly flouting the spirit of them. The intent of the no-temple-talk rule is to establish a level playing field where believing Latter-day Saints can participate without worrying about sacred matters being profaned.

As I explained... when and if the moderators modify the rules to outlaw the discussion of freemasonry, I will obey them.

Matthew 7:6 should always be adhered to in this forum; it predicts your behaviour with unerring accuracy. Whenever temple topics are discussed in this forum, there you are, trampling and rending.

I disagree with your assessment that I am trampling and rending.

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"[W]hen the cold winter of death shall have passed, and the bright summer's mourn of the resurrection appears, the Son of Righteousness shall descend, and send for th his angels to collect our ransomed dust; then, if we are found worthy, by his pass-word, we shall enter into the celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides...." (Light on Masonry, 84)

And which specific part of the Masonic ritual is this?

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I know the difference. My position is that Freemasonry was a "contributory cause." I have already acknowledged other possible sources from which Joseph Smith could have received ideas to produce the endowment. Don't you remember? Folk Magic, Freemasonry, Catholicism, and the Bible?

So, let me see. You think folk magic, Freemasonry, and Catholicism are more significant background to the Endowment than the Bible. Really?

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And which specific part of the Masonic ritual is this?

Since it is talking specifically about resurrection, I think it is probably safe to say that it is referencing the raising of Hiram Abiff (who is a type of both Christ and Man).

"He [the candidate, representing Hiram] is raised on what is called the five points of fellowship, which are foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back, and mouth to ear.... [in which position you are alone permitted to give the word,] and whisper the word Mah-hah-bone.... The Master whispers the word Mah-hah-bone in his ear, and causes the candidate to repeat it, and telling him at the same time that he must never give it in any manner other than that which he receives it.--He is also told that Mah-hah-bone, signifies marrow in the bone." (Light on Masonry, 69-70)

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Since it is talking specifically about resurrection, I think it is probably safe to say that it is referencing the raising of Hiram Abiff (who is a type for both Christ and Man).

Note that, while claiming that you agree with all my methodological considerations, you immediately violate several. Is that text an explicit part of a Masonic ritual, or part of an interpretation of a Masonic ritual? And note that I was talking about handclasps and you talk about "pass-words." And note I am talking about ritual and you are talking about an allegory.

Where in the Masonic ritual that Joseph knew, does an initiate receive handclasps from someone representing an angel or God? Maybe I missed it.

I assume you are citing about Bernard's 1829 edition, an anti-Masonic book. So Joseph got the idea that Masonry is really cool and should be copied from an anti-Masonic book?

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Note that, while claiming that you agree with all my methodological considerations, you immediately violate several.

No I don't.

Is that text an explicit part of a Masonic ritual, or part of an interpretation of a Masonic ritual?

It is part of an interpretation? But so what? When you said, "Angels and God are not involved in exchange of tokens in Freemasonry," you weren't talking about God or Angels literally. You were talking about who is represented symbolically. One of those symbolic interpretations includes angels, as indicated in the quote I have given you.

And note that I was talking about handclasps and you talk about "pass-words." And note I am talking about ritual and you are talking about an allegory.

But if this quote was referencing the raising of the candidate/Hiram (a part of the ritual), as seems to be the case, then a handclasp most certainly would have been part of the process:

"He [the candidate, representing Hiram] is raised on what is called the five points of fellowship, which are foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back, and mouth to ear.... [in which position you are alone permitted to give the word,] and whisper the word Mah-hah-bone. The Master's grip is given by taking hold of eachother's right hand, as though you were going to shake hands, and sticking the nails of each fingers into the joint of the other's wrist where it unites with the hand.... The Master whispers the word Mah-hah-bone in his ear, and causes the candidate to repeat it, and telling him at the same time that he must never give it in any manner other than that which he receives it.--He is also told that Mah-hah-bone, signifies marrow in the bone. " (Light on Masonry, 69-70)

Where in the Masonic ritual that Joseph knew, does an initiate receive handclasps from someone representing an angel or God? Maybe I missed it.

See explanation above.

I assume you are citing about Bernard's 1829 edition, an anti-Masonic book.

Yep.

So Joseph got the idea that Masonry is really cool and should be copied from an anti-Masonic book?

Perhaps. Are you suggesting that Masons had no interest in anti-Masonic books, while developing new rituals?

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No I don't.

It is part of an interpretation? But so what? When you said, "Angels and God are not involved in exchange of tokens in Freemasonry," you weren't talking about God or Angels literally. You were talking about who is represented symbolically. One of those symbolic interpretations includes angels, as indicated in the quote I have given you.

System one. Humans exchange handclasps with characters representing humans.

System two. Humans exchange handclasps with characters representing angels and God.

Get the difference?

You have not given a single example where the Masonic ritual has humans exchange handclasps with figures representing angels or God, or even is interpreted as such.

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But if this quote was referencing the raising of the candidate/Hiram (a part of the ritual), as seems to be the case, then a handclasp most certainly would have been part of the process:"He [the candidate, representing Hiram] is raised on what is called the five points of fellowship, which are foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, hand to back, and mouth to ear.... [in which position you are alone permitted to give the word,] and whisper the word Mah-hah-bone. The Master's grip is given by taking hold of eachother's right hand, as though you were going to shake hands, and sticking the nails of each fingers into the joint of the other's wrist where it unites with the hand.... The Master whispers the word Mah-hah-bone in his ear, and causes the candidate to repeat it, and telling him at the same time that he must never give it in any manner other than that which he receives it.--He is also told that Mah-hah-bone, signifies marrow in the bone. " (Light on Masonry, 69-70)
Is Hiram Abiff supposed to be an angel?Are the people who are "raising" Hiram supposed to be angels?Is Hiram actually being resurrected from the dead? Or is his body later taken away for a proper burial?Why do you think Hiram on p. 69 is supposed to be equated with "Supreme Architect of the universe" on p. 84?
System one. Humans exchange handclasps with characters representing humans.System two. Humans exchange handclasps with characters representing angels and God. Get the difference?Do Mormons ever use Temple handclasps as tokens of recognition to identify other Mormons? You have not given a single example where the Masonic ritual has humans exchange handclasps with figures representing angels or God, or even is interpreted as such.
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