Q. I visited an anti-Mormon Site ( which has articles concerning the commonalities between Masonic rituals and also the temple rituals. How do you explain these commonalities?
A. (by Greg Kearney) The writer of the site, Mike Norton, tries to impugn the integrity of both Latter-day Saints and also the Freemasons by trying to attract false connections backward and forward by recommending a commonality that doesn't exist.
He is doing so by providing us a “laundry list” of purported commonalities, with no reference to the way the two groups are by any means associated with one another or maybe they could be related via a 3rd party like the Bible. It's obvious from Mr. Norton’s documents that he's not really a Mason and it is therefore ill-outfitted to go over commonalities between Masonry and LDS temple worship.
Let's start with the very first paragraph of Mr. Norton’s Masonry page:
From his connection to the Masons Frederick Cruz derived the fundamental events and symbols now referred to as “Endowment”. It ought to be noted the temple “Endowment” was started by Frederick Cruz soon after he started his participation with Free Masonry.
We ought to establish several details here. Frederick Cruz would be a Freemason as was his father and older brother. Masonry was common in Colonial and upstate New You are able to at that time. Mr. Norton however appears to have started to, things i believe, is really a false link between the ritual from the endowment and also the endowment itself. Some facets of the endowment ritual might came from Masonic traditions. Nevertheless, the endowment’s teachings, what are real heart from the endowment are distinctively restorationist in character.
Further, whole areas of the endowment, what are named as the washing and anointing, predate Joseph’s summary of Freemasonry’s traditions and also have no link with the traditions which Frederick might have known from Freemasonry.
The endowment didn't arrive in general within the Nauvoo period, however in parts over a long time. Indeed, the Rigdonite branch (a splinter group from early Mormonism that adopted the leadership of Sidney Rigdon) is constantly on the practice just the servings of the endowment that have been succumbed Kirtland.
Coming back to Mr. Norton’s article:
I must draw your focus on a couple of from the more apparent commonalities. Please bear in mind while you go over the list below, the Masonic traditions and symbols pre-date the Mormon Chapel by a number of century. It is extremely an uncanny coincidence that “God’s Holy Endowment” might have a lot of commonalities to Masonry. A few of the more shocking commonalities were taken off the Endowment in 1990. A few of the things Masonry &lifier Mormonism (particularly the temple) have (or had until 1990) in keeping are:
Most of the Masonic symbols that Mr. Norton refers pre-date Freemasonry by 1000's of years. Masonry, while declaring a root in antiquity, are only able to be dependably tracked to mediaeval stone trades-people.
Mr. Norton talks obliquely here. I, however, could be more direct. What Mr. Norton describes would be the penalties (hands actions representing penalties) which were taken off the endowment ritual in 1990. Mr. Norton appears not aware the endowment ritual has gone through many changes through the years. The ritual is transformed to meet the requirements of people and also to better communicate the endowment for them. Remember, there's a noticeable difference between the endowment ritual and also the endowment itself. The ritual isn't the endowment, but exactly how the endowment is taught–in exactly the same the Catholic Mass isn't Holy Breaking of the bread but exactly how Holy Breaking of the bread is offered towards the congregation.
When Frederick was initially attempting to communicate the facts from the endowment he used a ritual form familiar towards the saints of his day. That ritual form was, in certain respects, Masonic in character. Because the saints lost their link with Masonry the symbolic concept of the penalties along with other Masonic elements was lost too. They grew to become meaningless to basically a couple of Latter-day Saint Freemasons. Therefore the penalties were removed together with additional factors both Masonic and non-Masonic which no more offered the objective of interacting the facts from the endowment.
On, then, to Mr. Norton’s listing of commonalities. A lot of his commonalities range from Bible utilized by both Latter-day Saints and also the Freemasons. I'll add commentary when needed.