FAQ: Was Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, a Mason?

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by Larry the Mason from Holbrook, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. The Freemasonry FAQ

    Version 1.0
    August 2006

    This Frequently Asked Question comes from the weekly USENET MASONRY FAQ, posted to alt.freemasonry every Friday at 08:00 Pacific. Please refer to the weekly FAQ for other resource and contact information.

    Was Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, a Mason?

    (This section provided by Brother Bob Dixon; the use of the first
    person is his)

    "Joseph Smith was a mason, as were the following four presidents of
    the LDS church.

    >From about 1839 to about 1846 most of the members of the church

    gathered to Nauvoo, Illinois, and there were at least four lodges in
    operation there. Joseph Smith was a very flamboyant individual and had
    a disagreement with the Grand Lodge of Illinois over the way the
    Nauvoo lodges were operated. Accordingly, their charters were revoked
    by the Grand Lodge.

    He was murdered by a mob in 1844, and Brigham Young felt it was as a
    result of a masonic conspiracy. He prohibited Mormons from being
    Masons, which remained in effect until the last ten years or so. The
    ill feelings went both ways, as the Grand Lodge of Utah refused to
    accept Mormons as members until about 1984.

    There are no particular restrictions on Mormons being Masons. We are
    continually counselled to put our families and Christ first, which
    many interpret as counsel to avoid most activities outside family and
    church. This is a personal choice, though, and not a matter of strict

    We perform certain ordinances such as baptisms for the dead and
    eternal marriages in our temples, and minor portions of those
    ordinances bear very surface similarity to parts of the Masonic
    degrees. The whole scope and character is much different, though.
    Where (I feel, anyway) that the masonic degree work revolves around
    our place in God's kingdom here on the earth, our temple rituals deal
    with creation and our place in the eternities."

    (A minor historical note: Smith was made a Mason at Sight by the Grand
    Master of Illinois)

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