Reason #100: Masonic Symbols in LDS Temples

Traditional Masonic symbols are rampant in older LDS temples. Representations of beehives, heavenly bodies, clasped hands, the All Seeing Eye, the square, the compass, and cloud-painted ceilings are abundant in 19th-century Utah temples.[1] Many Masonic symbols which were part of LDS temple ceremonies have been dropped since 1990. Even so, Mormon initiates of the 21st century, like their Masonic counterparts, wear special garments with symbolic markings on them and soft shoes, hats, and fig-leaf aprons. They give special handshakes, make ritualistic arm motions, whisper passwords into someone’s ear, chant and receive new names. Over both rites hangs a heavy atmosphere of secrecy and fear of retribution for exposure.

There are simply too many books written about the relationship of Mormonism to Masonry to list them here. It is one of the most over-documented issues in Mormonism. I recommend Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Mormonism, Magic and Masonry (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1988) as a good starting place. More information online at Utah Lighthouse Ministry:and Signature Books. Also: Tanners,  Evolution of the Mormon Temple Ceremony 1842 – 1990 (Salt Lake City:  Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 1990, updated 2005) and David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness:  A History of  Mormon Temple Worship (Salt Lake City:  Smith Research Associates, 1994).

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.

 

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