Reason #99– Un-divine Source of LDS Temple Ceremonies: Masonry
Any Mason who reads even such an abbreviated account of the temple ceremony as I have outlined in The Mormon Mirage will be amazed at the similarities between temple ordinances and Masonic lodge ordinances. Joseph Smith claimed that he got much of the substance of the temple ceremony from the Book of Abraham papyri (though there is no evidence of the ceremony in any extant “translations.”) The truth is that Joseph Smith was himself a Mason of “the Sublime degree.” He joined, he said, just to find out how far Masonry had “degenerated” from the original temple ceremony he said was first practiced in Solomon’s temple.
Joseph Smith claimed that some Old Testament rites were the source of both Mormon and Masonic rites. Masonic ceremonies do of course refer to Biblical personages and Scriptures, but no Masonic authority would say that they are descended from the Israelite rituals. The Grand Lodge of Utah has in the past refused initiation to known Mormons, and denied admission to any Mormon Mason who was initiated in any other state.
 Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church, IV, 552.
 William J. Whalen, The Latter-day Saints in the Modern-day World (Chicago: University of Notre Dame Press, 1967), 204. Also documented by Michael Quinn The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997).
For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition: A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today(Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading devices.