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7 minutes ago, latterdaytemplar said:

I was recently interviewed by Saints Unscripted to address doubts that some Latter-day Saints may have regarding Freemasonry and the influence that it has historically had on the Church, as well as a description of what Masonry is. I thought that I would share it here.

 

 

You're the kind of men the craft needs right now, nice work.  Hoping Utah stays as pristine Masonically as i've heard they are from you and other bretheren.  

I'll be honest, if I had an elder/Bishop etc. with a ring on his finger knock on my door?  He'd instantly get a + 25% credibility bonus, enhanced +3 if it was a mortality ring like this.

Masonic-Ring_63.jpg

I'm a sucker for these.

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42 minutes ago, latterdaytemplar said:

I was recently interviewed by Saints Unscripted to address doubts that some Latter-day Saints may have regarding Freemasonry and the influence that it has historically had on the Church, as well as a description of what Masonry is. I thought that I would share it here.

 

 

If you don’t want this removed, you’ll probably want to add something to start a discussion. The moderation team seems to frown on posts like this. 

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1 hour ago, poptart said:

You're the kind of men the craft needs right now, nice work.  Hoping Utah stays as pristine Masonically as i've heard they are from you and other bretheren.  

I'll be honest, if I had an elder/Bishop etc. with a ring on his finger knock on my door?  He'd instantly get a + 25% credibility bonus, enhanced +3 if it was a mortality ring like this.

Masonic-Ring_63.jpg

I'm a sucker for these.

You're very kind; I appreciate the compliment.

Although I have counselled young men to wait until after their missions to become Masons, I cannot put into words just how excited I would be to see that happen as well.

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42 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

If you don’t want this removed, you’ll probably want to add something to start a discussion. The moderation team seems to frown on posts like this. 

Understood. I had written them in private about posting the video, but I'll try to figure out something to add for discussion. Thanks for the heads-up.

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Is there a big decline in membership among Freemasons? I'm sensing the closing of lodges and overall lack of interest that doesn't track well over time? I'd love to know that I'm misinformed or inaccurate about this! ;) 

Thanks!

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4 minutes ago, rongo said:

Is there a big decline in membership among Freemasons? I'm sensing the closing of lodges and overall lack of interest that doesn't track well over time? I'd love to know that I'm misinformed or inaccurate about this! ;) 

Thanks!

There has been a substantial decline, yes. Although I cannot provide specifics for all grand lodge jurisdictions, Utah has gone from around 2,200 in 2016 to around 1,450 as of a couple of months ago (making it the smallest grand lodge jurisdiction population-wise in the USA). It has seen declines before, though, so I don't think that it will be disappearing anytime soon.

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You may be interested in the forthcoming volume, Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration, which will be published later this year. The authors go into great detail on Masonry as it existed in the early 19th century and make a very compelling case that Masonry influenced how Joseph Smith and his contemporaries viewed the prophet and the work of the Restoration far more than has been realized.

Will check out your video later. 

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2 hours ago, latterdaytemplar said:

I was recently interviewed by Saints Unscripted to address doubts that some Latter-day Saints may have regarding Freemasonry and the influence that it has historically had on the Church, as well as a description of what Masonry is. I thought that I would share it here.

Not in the Interview

One reason for joining Freemasonry that was not mentioned in the interview is that I had heard rumors concerning Joseph Smith stealing Masonic ceremonies and passing them off as revelation; with doubts growing, I decided to become a Mason for myself to see if those rumors were true. My doubts on this matter were resolved and my faith strengthened due to the information presented in this interview. In essence, I have come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith adopted the Masonic teaching model (concepts of theatrical presentation, of physical gestures for tokens, of illustrative symbols, etc.) and adapted it to teach the Church's already-existing, unique doctrine and to make covenants with God.

 

 

Good job man!! Surprised no one recognized you before you started this thread😁😁, just kidding. Glad the moderators gave you the thumbs up.

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1 hour ago, latterdaytemplar said:

You're very kind; I appreciate the compliment.

Although I have counselled young men to wait until after their missions to become Masons, I cannot put into words just how excited I would be to see that happen as well.

I would think considering the age of most male missionaries not too many lodges would be keen on letting them in.  

1 hour ago, latterdaytemplar said:

There has been a substantial decline, yes. Although I cannot provide specifics for all grand lodge jurisdictions, Utah has gone from around 2,200 in 2016 to around 1,450 as of a couple of months ago (making it the smallest grand lodge jurisdiction population-wise in the USA). It has seen declines before, though, so I don't think that it will be disappearing anytime soon.

I said this once, in a lot of states/jurisdictions its political.  I agree, I doubt we'll see Freemasonry disappear anytime soon.  One thing i'm figuring out, it pays to visit other lodges to find that fit.  I'm seeing more and more brethren do it vs. just going to the same lodge.  Also, I believe we'll see more lodges be chartered with specific interests in mind.  Some states have esoteric lodges which are designed to be like lodges around the turn of the century i.e mysticism and education heavy.  What annoys me is how a lot of lodges in places operate like a glorified Elks lodge then wonder why they can't keep people especially single men to stay.  That or SR gets most of them.  Then again, Utah has a different demographic so like a lot of things you guys just make it work out to where everyone's friends. 

55 minutes ago, the narrator said:

You may be interested in the forthcoming volume, Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration, which will be published later this year. The authors go into great detail on Masonry as it existed in the early 19th century and make a very compelling case that Masonry influenced how Joseph Smith and his contemporaries viewed the prophet and the work of the Restoration far more than has been realized.

Will check out your video later. 

This very much interests me, thanks!

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1 hour ago, the narrator said:

You may be interested in the forthcoming volume, Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration, which will be published later this year. The authors go into great detail on Masonry as it existed in the early 19th century and make a very compelling case that Masonry influenced how Joseph Smith and his contemporaries viewed the prophet and the work of the Restoration far more than has been realized.

Will check out your video later. 

I have been eagerly awaiting Method Infinite for a few years now. Just last week, I reached a certain point of frustration when I came across this thus-far-unavailable book being cited in the footnotes of The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories by Don Bradley. I'm sure that the authors have long awaited the time of publication, but it has also been a trial of patience for myself as well lol.

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26 minutes ago, poptart said:

I would think considering the age of most male missionaries not too many lodges would be keen on letting them in.

Yeah, I still forget that they leave at 18-years-old instead of at 19-years-old.

28 minutes ago, poptart said:

I said this once, in a lot of states/jurisdictions its political.  I agree, I doubt we'll see Freemasonry disappear anytime soon.  One thing i'm figuring out, it pays to visit other lodges to find that fit.  I'm seeing more and more brethren do it vs. just going to the same lodge.  Also, I believe we'll see more lodges be chartered with specific interests in mind.  Some states have esoteric lodges which are designed to be like lodges around the turn of the century i.e mysticism and education heavy.  What annoys me is how a lot of lodges in places operate like a glorified Elks lodge then wonder why they can't keep people especially single men to stay.  That or SR gets most of them.  Then again, Utah has a different demographic so like a lot of things you guys just make it work out to where everyone's friends. 

Yeah, hopefully it continues that way in Utah. I'd love to see our jurisdiction double in size.

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7 minutes ago, latterdaytemplar said:

I have been eagerly awaiting Method Infinite for a few years now. Just last week, I reached a certain point of frustration when I came across this thus-far-unavailable book being cited in the footnotes of The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories by Don Bradley. I'm sure that the authors have long awaited the time of publication, but it has also been a trial of patience for myself as well lol.

We were hoping to have it out later last year and then early this year, but the pandemic threw a wrench in our plans, especially the first few months, as being home with 2 grade-school age kids and having to educate and entertain them made diving into a deep editing project difficult. But, have no fear, it's currently in a final stage of editing, and we should have a galley available to peruse at MHA in a couple months.

Just finished watching your video. A big challenge with contemporary LDS-Masons (or is it Masonic Latter-Day Saints?) commenting on the relationship between Mormonism and Masonry is that both Masonry and Mormonism (and their rites) have gone through significant changes since Joseph Smith. In particular, Masonry went through significant deChristianizing over the last century and a half, and Mormonism has gone through significant deMasonizing during that same period--not just with the temple, but also with architecture, organizational structure, etc. (Along those lines, it was interested to read about the symbolism that has drawn so many toward Masonry while the contemporary Church is stripping so much symbolism away from the endowment as it turns the temple into a ritual assembly line.)

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16 minutes ago, latterdaytemplar said:

Yeah, I still forget that they leave at 18-years-old instead of at 19-years-old.

Yeah, hopefully it continues that way in Utah. I'd love to see our jurisdiction double in size.

I could see growth, minute they see how family friendly lodges are transplant families are going to want in.  I mentioned this on another thread, that's one way I could see the LDS church getting transplant families to convert, what they have to offer that's safe and wholesome.  Anymore cities are very much oriented towards the single, wealthy and foreigners.  It's interesting, a Nichiren Buddhist minister I know in WA is a SR mason, as is one of the sons of the Bishop (Same sect) of Hawaii mission.  Needless to say, unless you're from or have connections to those groups/cultures you're not going to care to have your children around them.  Either way, I see it as a possible win numbers wise for Utah.  I doubt you'll get the numbers other states like CA, NY etc. have but you'll have the quality.  

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4 hours ago, poptart said:

I'll be honest, if I had an elder/Bishop etc. with a ring on his finger knock on my door?  He'd instantly get a + 25% credibility bonus, enhanced +3 if it was a mortality ring like this.

I have doubts about whether a Masonic ring would be allowed for a young missionary due to rules about jewelry (one simple ring is allowed).  
 

Maybe some former elders could confirm.  
 

https://missionary.lds.org/clothing/elder/faq?lang=eng&_r=1#bookmark16

 

I assume there is more freedom for choosing attire for seniors, but might be wrong as I have never researched it. Not something I will likely ever be able to do. 

Edited by Calm
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I've strongly considered joining the Masonic fraternity - at least ever since I watched National Treasure as a elementary school kid lol. That was even before I knew how significant Masonry was to my own faith and heritage. 

4 hours ago, poptart said:

I'll be honest, if I had an elder/Bishop etc. with a ring on his finger knock on my door?  He'd instantly get a + 25% credibility bonus, enhanced +3 if it was a mortality ring like this.

Straight out of RPGs. What other items should I equip to max out my buffs when talking with you? I think my Persuasion stat isn't too low but the items can always help 😜

@Calm When I was serving a couple years ago, a Mason ring would certainly not have been allowed. However, the handbook has been updated since then and I haven't kept up to speed with it. It would surprise me, however, if any mission president let their elders wear Masonic rings no matter the official handbook statements, just for the sake of the image alone. 

Edited by OGHoosier
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4 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

watched National Treasure as a elementary school kid lol

Ach...I feel old. 

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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

I have doubts about whether a Masonic ring would be allowed for a young missionary due to rules about jewelry (one simple ring is allowed).  
 

Maybe some former elders could confirm.  
 

https://missionary.lds.org/clothing/elder/faq?lang=eng&_r=1#bookmark16

 

I assume there is more freedom for choosing attire for seniors, but might be wrong as I have never researched it. Not something I will likely ever be able to do. 

Huh, so same for CTR rings and what not?

25 minutes ago, OGHoosier said:

I've strongly considered joining the Masonic fraternity - at least ever since I watched National Treasure as a elementary school kid lol. That was even before I knew how significant Masonry was to my own faith and heritage. 

Straight out of RPGs. What other items should I equip to max out my buffs when talking with you? I think my Persuasion stat isn't too low but the items can always help 😜

@Calm When I was serving a couple years ago, a Mason ring would certainly not have been allowed. However, the handbook has been updated since then and I haven't kept up to speed with it. It would surprise me, however, if any mission president let their elders wear Masonic rings no matter the official handbook statements, just for the sake of the image alone. 

A fedora, bling, etc.  Bonus points if it's Scottish Rite mortality ring.  

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Brother-brother Cole,

You did a fine job. I think the single best article on the relationship between Masonic ritual and the Temple Endowment is Bradshaw's treatment entitled "Freemasonry and the Origins of Modern Temple Ordinances."  He brilliantly draws an analogy by comparing this relationship to that of the KJV Bible and the English Book of Mormon text:

 

Quote

It should be no more a surprise to Latter-day Saints if some phrasing of the rites of Freemasonry parallel selected aspects of restored temple ordinances than the idea that wording similar to that of the King James Version was adopted in the English translation of scriptural passages from the Old Testament included on the Book of Mormon plates.  In both cases, the use of elements already familiar to the early Saints would have served a pragmatic purpose, favoring their acceptance and understanding of specific aspects of the ancient teachings better than if a whole new and foreign textual or ritual vocabulary had been introduced.

To this statement I would add that just because some KJV language shows up in the BOM text, it does not follow that the BOM was plagiarized or that there was no actual ancient Book of Mormon text.  Rather, in the process of bringing the ancient BOM text into English the KJV seems to have been utilized to represent what was on the plates.  This was done because the KJV was available and widely read. Likewise, it is my belief that the endowment is authentically ancient and divine, but that Masonic ritual and language were used in portions because it was available and widely known. 

As an example of this, I would suggest that a ritualistic, divine embrace is something that is ancient and authentic that can be seen throughout antiquity. The specific form of divine embrace that was used in the endowment until 1990 was, however, masonic.  The divine embrace continues in the endowment today, but has been simplified. 

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15 minutes ago, DispensatorMysteriorum said:

As an example of this, I would suggest that a ritualistic, divine embrace is something that is ancient and authentic that can be seen throughout antiquity. The specific form of divine embrace that was used in the endowment until 1990 was, however, masonic.  The divine embrace continues in the endowment today, but has been simplified. 

Agreed. The old Masonic legends about the rites descending directly from the Temple of Solomon have been generally discredited, but for my part I see a lot of similarities between old early-AD gnostic rituals and Masonry. For me it's hard to imagine that there isn't some form of connection, though I don't have credible theories as to its provenance. 

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54 minutes ago, poptart said:

Huh, so same for CTR rings and what not?

They range in levels of simplicity, so I can see some being allowed and others now. 

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1 hour ago, OGHoosier said:

the handbook has been updated since then and I haven't kept up to speed with it.

I got the info off the official website, though that doesn’t guarantee it is up to date. Plus simplicity is a subjective term. 

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8 hours ago, latterdaytemplar said:

 In essence, I have come to the conclusion that Joseph Smith adopted the Masonic teaching model (concepts of theatrical presentation, of physical gestures for tokens, of illustrative symbols, etc.) and adapted it to teach the Church's already-existing, unique doctrine and to make covenants with God.

 

This seems to be a popular view.  What of statements by Heber C. Kimball and others that state the reverse?

"Brother Joseph says Masonry was taken from Priesthood but has become degenerated. But many things are perfect."

I don't doubt the influence becoming a mason had on Joseph.  But I reject the notion that the Masonic elements were Joseph's choice to interpret gospel principles.  I prefer to believe his contemporaries.

Joseph Fielding (December 1843): The LDS temple ordinances are “the true origin of Masonry.”

Willard Richards (16 March 1842): “Masonry had its origin in the Priesthood. A hint to the wise is sufficient.” 

 

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Just tossing this out there, would be real interesting to put the BOM against say, British, German or French Masonry.  The Masonry the states has supposedly isn't the same Masonry they have on the continent, there's such a thing as red and blue lodges.  

Just going down that rabbit hole a bit more, the Rosicrucians claim they were the ones who passed on the mystic elements the Freemasons have today.  In the Scottish Rite there's a degree called Rose Croix, partially came about because during the 1800's there were a ton of Freemasons who were also Rosicrucians.  I'll admit, part of the interest I have in the Endowment Ceremony, the similarities.  Abroad Albert Pike isn't as big a deal as he is here so it's a bit different.  It was also Continental Masonry that caused the big schism with Rome, not so much the stuff we have.  Good luck telling that to most people here, they just point at the Papal Bull and never dig deeper nor ask our side of the story.

I'll toss this out there too, my father was a rosicrucian so between him and his masonic relatives, I was exposed to interesting stuff as a kid and adult.

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