Masonry and the Temple

  1. Matthew B. Brown. The Gate of Heaven. (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 1999)

    • Highly recommended. Discusses ritual, symbolism, and temples of the Old and New Testaments. Also contains an appendix that serves as a good introduction to the relationship between the Temple ordinances and Freemasonry.
    • Reviewed briefly in FARMS Review of Books and BYU Studies 39:2 (2000).
    • FAIR Bookstore, Deseret Book.
  2. Matthew Brown, “Girded about with a Lambskin.” JBMS 6:2 (1997): 124-151.

    • “The publication of the Book of Mormon brought forward the first of many comparisons between the restorational work of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his surrounding environment, including Freemasonry. One point of comparison has been the lambskin apparel mentioned in 3 Nephi 4:7. I will suggest a possible connection between this item of apparel and ritual clothing that was worn in ancient Israel, Egypt, and Mesoamerica. I will also suggest a possible reason for the use of this item of clothing among the secret combinations in the Book of Mormon. Finally, I will discuss the lambskin apron used in Freemasonic ritual.”
  3. William J. Hamblin, “Aspects of an Early Christian Initiation Ritual”-  BSAF  1:202-221.

  4. Andrew F. Ehat. Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question -  Master’s Thesis, BYU, 1982. 307 p.

    • Available in BYU Special Collections. Though slightly flawed due to the inclusion of some of the then-unknown Mark Hoffman Forgeries, this thesis is nevertheless a highly valuable resource. However,  Andrew Ehat has refused to circulate copies of his thesis and objected to the illegitimate copies available.
  5. Greg and I have some different takes on things, but his FAIR Conference presentation is still useful.

    Greg Kearney, “The Message and the Messenger: Latter-day Saints and Freemasonry” 2005 FAIR Conference Presentation  

  6. Greg Kearney, a 3rd generation LDS Mason and FAIR member, also did a podcast, an audio interview about Masonry and Mormonism,  with Mormon Stories on this topic.

    It’s available via Itunes podcasts  or directly from Mormon Stories.(Link includes summary, comments by listeners, and a direct link to the audio file.) Podcast instructions from Mormon Stories.

    Bro. Kearney certainly qualifies as an expert on Masonic topics, but less so in terms of temple-related scripture and ancient ritual. Though I have some disagreements, this is useful to listen to.

  7. Kenneth W. Godfrey. “Freemasonry and the Temple.” -  EM: 528-529.

  8. Kenneth W. Godfrey. “Freemasonry in Nauvoo.”  EM: 527-28.

  9. The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Reviewed by Matthew Brown in FARMS Review of Books, 10:1 (1998):97-131. A thorough treatment.

  10. The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship. Reviewed by Danel W. Bachman and Kenneth W. Godfrey, in BYUS 36:2 (1996-1997): 245-249.

  11. The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship reviewed by FAIR, here.

  12. Jeff Lindsay’s FAQ on the subject is probably the best internet resource. It’s really quite good (and I’m not just saying that because he links to me, either.) I don’t recommend searching for others on the internet. You’ll find more than you’re looking for.

  13. Nick Literski, an LDS Mason (who used to have an excellent temple site), has a forthcoming book Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration on “the role of Freemasonry in the restoration of the gospel. This will begin back in early Vermont days, on up through the late 19th century” (email from Nick to me.) As such, it will touch on the restoration of the temple as a side issue. Further info on his publisher’s site.

  14. E. Cecil McGavin, Mormonism and Masonry

    • Older and very outdated source, previous to any of the scholarship listed on this page, in .PDF format. (If that doesn’t work, go here.)
  15. President Anthony W. Ivins. The Relationship between Mormonism and Masonry.

    • Similar caveats as above. Available in .PDF format. (If that link doesn’t work, go here and hunt for it by title or author.)
  16. Ben McGuire’s chapter on the temple in Mormonism 201 (responding to an antimormon book) from FAIR. The whole article is good, but requires scrolling.

  17. Elder John A. Widtsoe “Whence Came the Temple Endowments?” In Evidences and Reconciliations (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1960): 111-113.

  18. An anonymous LDS historian’s response to Gerald and Sandra Tanner’s Mormonism- Shadow or Reality? This paper was widely circulated when it first appeared in 1977. For the comments on Masonry, see p. 21.

  19. Greg Kearney, “How does one explain the similarities between Masonic rites and the Temple rites?” FAIR paper.

    Same comments apply here as to his Mormon Stories podcast above.

  20. Nick Literski, Review of Clyde Forsberg’s Equal Rites: The Book of Mormon, Masonry, Gender, and American Culture. FRB 17:1 (2005):1-10

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