Masonic Roots of Mormonism

Some Mormons do not realize that their temple Endowment ceremony was copied directly from occultic rites in Masonry. The Mormon temple ceremony has no connection whatsoever with Christianity. On March 15, 1842, Joe Smith became an Entered Apprentice Mason, and the next day he became a Master Mason. The usual thirty-day wait between degrees was waived by Abraham Jonas, Grandmaster of the Illinois Lodge.

Joe Smith admitted to being a Mason in his History of the Church (vol. 4, p. 551).

Under the date of March 15, 1842 his entry is, "In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office" (History of the Church vol. 4, p. 551).

The very next day he noted becoming a Master Mason, "I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree" (Ibid., p. 552).

Dr. Reed Durham, who was president of the Mormon History Association, noted:

"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. It is also obvious that the Nauvoo Temple architecture was in part, at least, Masonically influenced. Indeed, it appears that there was an intentional attempt to utilize Masonic symbols and motifs. . . ." (Mormon Miscellaneous, pub. David C. Martin, October, 1975, pp. 11-16). Here is the remainder of Dr. Reed Durham's address.

Less than two months after becoming a Master Mason, Joe Smith introduced the Endowment ceremony. For the Endowment ceremony, Joe Smith copied Masonic rites from a book called Freemasonry Exposed (1827) by William Morgan. When one compares the Nauvoo ceremony with the Masonic rite in Morgan's book, one easily sees the Masonic influence on the Mormon rite. The two rites resemble each other to the point of being identical at places. Morgan's account was an exposé of his local York Rite's "Craft" degrees.

One can easily see the similarities between Masonic and Mormon rites. The penalty for revealing the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, Smith copied from the penalty of disclosing the first degree (Entered Apprentice) of Freemasonry.

Mormon text: "We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots" (W. M. Paden, Temple Mormonism, 1931, p. 18).

Mason text: "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 than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots. . . ." (William Morgan, Freemasonry Exposed, 1827, pp. 21-22)

Compare the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood with the Second Degree (Fellow Craft) oath:

Mormon text: "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 vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field" (Paden, p. 20)

Mason text: "I . . . most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear . . . that I will not give the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason to any one of an inferior degree, nor to any other being in the known world . . . binding myself under no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence . . . to become a prey to the wild beasts of the field, and vulture of the air. . . ." (Morgan, p. 52).

Besides similar penalties, there are also similar signs, arm positions, ear whisperings, passwords and handgrips. For instance, compare the "First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood" grip with the "First Degree" Masonic grip:

Mormon text:
Peter - "What is that?"
Adam - "The first token of the Aaronic Priesthood."
Peter - "Has it a name?"
Adam - "It has."
Peter - "Will you give it to me?"
Adam - "I can not, for it is connected with my new name, but this is the sign" (Paden, p. 20).

Mason text:
"What is this?"
Ans. "A grip."
"A grip of what?"
Ans. "The grip of an Entered Apprentice Mason."
"Has it a name?"
Ans. "It has."
"Will you give it to me?"
Ans. "I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it." (Morgan, pp. 23-24).

Ashamed and embarrassed about Smith's copying Masonic rites for the Endowment ceremony, Mormon officials expunged the Five Points of Fellowship and the Penalties from the Endowment in 1990.

Although Freemasons use names and trappings from the Bible, Freemasonry is an occult organization. Various books have traced the occult roots of Masonry. Masonry forces its members to address all prayers to the Great Architect of the Universe (GAOTU). Masons have been forced out of the organization when they prayed to Christ Jesus.

In the Masonic initiation, the initiate bares his left breast and rolls up his left pant leg over the knee. His right shoe is replaced by a slipper and his eyes are blindfolded. A noose is placed around his neck, and he is led to the outer door of the Masonic temple. The blindfold symbolizes his being in outer darkness outside of Freemasonry. A sharp point is pricked on his breast, and he is made to kneel before an altar, behind which stands "The Worshipful Master," who presides over the ceremony. The initiate is then required to say that he is lost in darkness and is seeking the light of Freemasonry. A Christian cannot say that he is lost in darkness, since a Christian, by definition (1 John 1:4-7), walks in the light of Messiah. He would be lying if he took this oath.

At the Blue Lodge ceremony, the initiate is given a white lambskin apron, as an emblem of a spotless and pure life, to bring before the "Great White Throne" when he dies (Masonic Monitors, the Craft ritual manual). However, there is only one Great White Throne in the Bible (Revelation 20:11-15), and only those who are to be eternally damned appear before it. It is the judgment of the lost. The only covering of sins God will accept is Christ’s blood atonement (Col. 1:13-14, 20; Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:14; 1 John 1:7; Matt. 26:28; Isaiah 64: 5-6; Rev. 1:5). To God, good deeds alone are as filthy rags.

Dr. Albert Pike was a Masonic authority who wrote Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. He was the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Supreme Council, A.A., Scottish Rite, for 32 years. The current Sovereign Grand Commander, C. Fred Kleinknecht, noted that "Pike's great book, Morals and Dogma, is the most complete exposition of Masonic philosophy there is."

In Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike admits that Freemasonry is a religion (pp. 210, 213, 219). Among others, Masonic authorities Albert Mackey (Encyclopedia of Masonry, pp. 618-619) and Henry Coil (Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, p. 512) admit that Freemasonry is a religion.

The Masonic definition of God as polytheistic is not compatible with the Biblical, monotheistic God. Neither is the Masonic plan of salvation—works, moralism, Masonic ritual—compatible with the narrow Christian path to salvation—confessing sins (1 John 1:9), repenting from sin (Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38), having faith in Christ (John 3:14-18), being born again of the Spirit (John 3:3-8) and reading the Bible in earnest (2 Timothy 3:15).

    -----John 14:
  1. Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Scripture says there is only one true God (Deut. 4:35,39; 6:4; 32:39; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6,8; 45:5). God commands us to have no other gods before Him (Exodus 20:1-5), yet Masonry, by definition, bows to all gods and refuses to acknowledge the God of the Bible as Lord.

After earning the three Blue Lodge degrees, and having completed the Scottish or York Rite degrees, Masons can petition to become Shriners, who swear to a blood oath and who confess Allah as God (The Mystic Shrine: An Illustrated Ritual of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Shrine, 1975, pp. 20-22). "Allah" is not just another name for God; Allah is the name of another god. Here is an article with further information on Islam (together with two additional Mormonism articles).

Joe Smith copied the Mormon Endowment ceremony directly from the Blue Lodge degrees of Freemasonry, and he borrowed Masonic symbolism, such as the Masonic markings on underwear Mormons wear. Over the right breast in occult Mormon underwear is a carpenter's square, and over the left, a mason's compass. The opening at the navel is symbolic of the evisceration penalty for disclosing Mormon secrets. Mormons are taught that their underwear, and in particular its Masonic markings, "will be a shield and a protection" to them from the power of the destroyer (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, vol. 2, p. 295).

When the underwear becomes worn, Mormons may use the garment as, say, a rag only if they cut out and burn the patches with the Masonic square and compass. The occult power is in the Masonic symbolism.

Mormon buildings also have occult markings. The inverted pentagram is prominently displayed not only at the Salt Lake City Temple, but also at the entry of the LDS Museum just across South Temple Street, as well as on the new statuary honoring Moroni in Manti, Utah. The inverted pentagram is a symbol of Satan.

According to the Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, "The Pentagram, the sign of the Microcosm, was held to be the most powerful means of conjuration in any rite . . . with two points in the ascendant it was the sign of Satan" (vol. 2, p. 552).

The inverted pentagram is also called the "Baphomet," or "Goat of Mendes." It is on the cover of Anton LaVey's satanic Bible, and it is on the Salt Lake City temple.

In the architecture of Mormon buildings are various other Masonic and occultic symbols. The Nauvoo temple had decorative caps called "sunstones" on pilasters. The sunstone depicts a sun with a radiant, but goofy human face. There were thirty of the 2.5 ton white limestone sunstones decorating temple columns before the temple was destroyed. There were also thirty "moonstones" and "starstones." Mormon elder William Weeks was the architect for the 128 by 88 foot Nauvoo temple, although Joe Smith occasionally interfered and asked for changes, such as round windows on the second floor and sunstones. Smith had a "vision" in which the sunstone represented the Mormon "Celestial Kingdom." The term "Celestial Kingdom" is similar to the Masonic "Celestial Lodge Above."

The source of the sunstone is the Egyptian sun god Re (Horus-Re). Egyptians saw the sun as dying and being reborn each day. To Egyptians, the sun god Re made this diurnal journey in his solar bark. Egyptologists identify Re in Figure 3 of Facsimile 2 in the Book of Abraham. Dr. Samuel Mercer was one of the eight Egyptian antiquities experts who were quoted in Franklin S. Spalding's booklet Joseph Smith, Jr., as a Translator (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Arrow Press, 1912). All eight, of course, found Smith's explanations of Facsimiles completely false. Dr. Mercer was distinguished as the custodian of the Hibbard Collection of Egyptian reproductions, the most complete collection in the United States (The Utah Survey, vol. 1, no. 1, September, 1913, p. 3). Dr. Mercer noted that the personage in Figure 3 is Re (Ibid. p. 23). In his numbered explanations of Facsimiles in the Book of Abraham, Joe Smith wrote that Figure 3 represents "God, sitting upon his throne" (Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price). The Egyptian sun god, then, represents the Mormon god.

The Masonic influence is throughout Mormon temple architecture. At the Salt Lake City Temple, over a window of the east central tower, is the All-seeing-Eye. The All-seeing-Eye is taken from the left eye, the "moon" or "sound" eye of Horus. Horus is a detestable pagan god, the son of Osiris and Isis. There is much pagan Egyptian mythology in the roots of Masonry and Mormonism.

Besides the All-seeing-eye, the Salt Lake City temple also has as a part of its architecture Ursa Major, cloudstones, starstones, sunstones, moonstones, earthstones, Saturnstones and the demon Moroni. The clasped hands on the Salt Lake City temple were also derived from Masonic symbolism. The Mormon beehive is a Masonic emblem of industry and virtue. The 1854 architect's drawing of the south elevation has Saturnstones over each sunstone on the main buttresses of the central body of the temple. In 1870, Brigham Young moved the Saturnstones to a more obscure pattern atop five of the six spires of the temple. The sixth and highest topped is with the demon Moroni.

Next to Moroni, the Saturnstones have the loftiest place on the building. The pagan Roman god Saturn is the source of the Saturnstone. In Mormon symbolism, Moroni, the blood spurting ghost of a Spaniard who was murdered as an enchantment to guard treasure, occupies the loftiest position on the temple. The next highest position is occupied by a symbol for the pagan god Saturn.

At the seventh degree in Masonry, the "Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch," the initiate learns "God's" secret name: Jahbulon. The name Jahbulon is a composite name from Jah-Bul-On. It joins Jehovah (Jah) with two pagan gods, the pagan Canaanite deity Baal (Bul) and the Egyptian god Osiris (On). According to Masonic authorities Henry Wilson Coil and Malcom C. Duncan, "Jah" refers to Jehovah. "Bul" refers to the Assyrian or Canaanite deity Baal, and "On" refers to the Egyptian deity Osiris (Henry Wilson Coil, Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, New York, Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply, 1961, pp. 516-517; Malcom C. Duncan, Masonic Ritual and Monitor, New York, David Mckay Co., nd., p. 226; Dr. Ron Carlson, Fast Facts on False Teachings, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House, 1994, p. 86).

This is strong evidence that Joe Smith's LDS "church" is satanic at its roots. In the Bible, God does not allow His name to be mixed with pagan gods. Baal and Egyptian gods are all completely detestable in God's eyes. God is a very jealous God, and He has severe consequences for those who worship another. Much of the Bible is about the hammer coming down hard on Hebrews who fooled with Baal or other pagan gods.

Printing the initials J.B.O. for the secret name "Jahbulon," the ritual book of the Craft states,

"We three do meet and agree—in peace, love and unity—the Sacred Word to keep—and never to divulge the same—until we three, or three such as we—do meet and agree."

    -----Judges 2:
  1. And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
  2. And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
    -----Ezekiel 20:
  1. Then said I unto them, Cast ye away every man the abominations of his eyes, and defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

In the seventeenth degree of the Scottish Rite, or The Knights of the East and West Degree, the secret password is Jahbulon, and the Sacred Word is Abaddon.

    -----Rev. 9:
  1. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon [destruction], and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon [destroyer].

No true Christian can take the name of the angel of the abyss, Abaddon, as a "sacred word."

In the eighteenth degree—the Most Wise Sovereign Knight of the Pelican and the Eagle, and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom—threre are various obscene mixings of Christ's name, together with a mockery communion of eating a biscuit, salt and white wine. In the thirty-first degree, the Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander, various Egyptian gods and goddesses are honored, including Anubis, Osiris and Isis. In the thirty-second degree, the Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, there is the false Trinitarian deity AUM, and its parts: Brahma as the creator, Vishnu as the preserver and Shiva as the destroyer. There is drinking from a human skull in this and other Masonic rites.

The Christian hope for Salvation is spelled out clearly in the Bible. On the other hand, the LDS religion is rooted in Freemasonry and other occult practices. Symbolizing his false hope, Joe Smith's last words included the Masonic distress signal.

In his book exposing Freemasonry, William Morgan revealed how Masons signal for the aid of fellow Masons "in case of distress": "The sign is given by raising both hands and arms to the elbows, perpendicularly, one on each 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?'" (Morgan, p. 76).

Mormon bishop John D. Lee, who was executed for his part in the Mountain Meadows Massacre, wrote about Smith's giving the Masonic distress sign before dying, "Joseph left the door, sprang through the window, and cried out, 'Oh Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow's son!'" (Confessions of John D. Lee, reprint of 1880 ed., p. 153)

Less than one month after Joe Smith's death, the Mormon periodical Times and Seasons referred to Smith's giving, as his last words, the Masonic distress sign, " . . . with uplifted hands they gave such signs of distress as would have commanded the interposition and benevolence of Savages or Pagans. They were both Masons in good standing. . . . Joseph's last exclamation was 'O Lord my God!' " (Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 585).

LDS "apostle" Heber C. Kimball also admitted that Joe Smith gave the Masonic distress sign just before dying, "Joseph, leaping the fatal window, gave the Masonic Signal of Distress." (Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball an Apostle, the Father and Founder of the British Mission, Salt Lake City: The Kimball Family, 1888, p. 26).

Joe Smith had placed his hopes of Salvation in a false hope, in that which cannot save. Those who follow Smith's religion likewise will share Smith's fate in hell.

By Mark Hines, M.A.