the thinker


Back to Mormon Quotes Index

This is just a small sampling of interesting quotes on the relationship between Masonry and Mormonism.

Check out the wording of the LDS "Tokens" versus the Masonic "Degrees" and then take into account the fact that Joseph Smith was very involved in Freemasonry. I don't understand how a Mormon could honestly investigate this topic without having to do some serious re-thinking about Joseph Smith.
LDS “First Token of the Priesthood”:

“[I] do covenant and promise that I will never reveal the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, together with its accompanying penalty sign and penalty. Rather than do so I would suffer my life to be taken.”

Masonic “First Degree”:

“[I will] never reveal any part or parts, art or arts, point or points of the secret arts and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry.... binding myself under no less penalty then to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots.”

- Masonic oath, William Morgan, Illustrations of Freemasonry, 1827, pp. 21-22

“[Draw] your right hand across your throat, the thumb next to your throat, your arm as high as the elbow in a horizontal position.”

- Masonic “First Degree” oath directions, Morgan, Illustrations of Freemasonry, 1827, p. 23

LDS “Second Token of the Priesthood”:

"‘We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vital torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.' The Sign is made by placing the left arm on the square at the level of the shoulder, placing the right hand across the chest with the thumb extended and then drawing it rapidly from left to right and dropping it to the side.”

- Temple Mormonism – Its Evolution, Ritual and Meaning, 1931, p. 18

Masonic “Second or Fellow Craft Degree”:

“[I am bound] under no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence and thrown over my left shoulder and carried into the valley of Jehosaphat, there to become a prey to the wild beasts of the field, and vulture of the air.... The sign is given by drawing your right hand flat, with the palm of it next to your breast, across your breast from the left to the right side with some quickness, and dropping it down by your side.”

- Morgan, Illustrations of Freemasonry, 1827, pp. 52-53

Masonic “Third or Master Mason's Degree”:

“[I am bound] 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 center.... The Penal Sign is given by putting the right hand to the left side of the bowels, the hand open, with the thumb next to the belly, and drawing it across the belly, and letting it fall; this is done tolerably quick. This alludes to the penalty of the obligation: ‘Having my body severed in twain,' etc.”

- Morgan, Illustrations of Freemasonry, p. 75-77

LDS “First Token of the Melchizedek Priesthood”:

“ ‘[W]e agree that our bodies be cut asunder in the midst and all our bowels gush out.'... As the last words are spoken the hands are dropped till the thumbs are in the center of the stomach and drawn swiftly across the stomach to the hips, and then dropped to the sides.”

- LDS Endowment Ceremony, 1931; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 38

“I am convinced that in the study of Masonry lies a pivotal key to further understanding Joseph Smith and the Church.... The many parallels found between early Mormonism and the Masonry of that day are substantial.... I believe that there are few significant developments in the Church, that occurred after March 15, 1842 [the day Smith became a Mason], which did have some Masonic interdependence.... There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment, introduced by Joseph Smith to Mormon Masons, had an immediate inspiration from Masonry. This is not to suggest that no other source of inspiration could have been involved, but the similarities between the two ceremonies are so apparent and overwhelming that some dependent relationship cannot be denied. They are so similar, in fact, that one writer was led to refer to the Endowment as Celestial Masonry.”

- Reed Durham, speech at Mormon History Association in Nauvoo, Illinois; see Abanes, One Nation Under Gods, p. 38