Mormon temple worship shares an extensive commonality of symbols, signs, vocabulary and clothing with Freemasonry, including robes, aprons, handshakes, ritualistic raising of the arms, etc. Even the symbols on LDS temple garments precisely the same the major symbols of a Freemason, which are tools of a stone mason. Where did mormonism get these?
It starts to become clear when you find out that Joseph Smith became a Freemason and went through the Masonic temple ceremonies about 2 months before he came up with the LDS Temple ceremonies.
“Tuesday, [March] 15 . — I officiated as grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons, at the Grove near the Temple. Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested. In the evening I received the first degree in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office.” (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1978, Vol.4, Ch.32, p.550-1)
Some people (even a BYU article) recognize the large similarities between Masonic rituals and the LDS temple endowment, but try to downplay and dismiss the similarities by suggesting that there is more similarities with Egyptian themes. The claim of Egyptian themes being more similar doesn’t hold any weight when you look at all of the facts, including the direct copy of Masonic symbols in the LDS temple ordinances, not only in the LDS temple endowment, but also in the mormon temple garments them selves.
The masonic symbols that Freemasons use on their logo, which appear on most masonic lodges and temples, the square and compass, are exactly the same symbols that appear on LDS temple garments, along with the masonic guage.
The major tools of a stone mason include a compass (the kind that functions like a protractor), a square (shaped like an L), and a gauge (similar to a ruler). These are on every Mormon’s temple garments, which they wear day and night, and told to keep secret and sacred. If these are such sacred symbols, which the LDS treat with secrecy, why are they plastered everywhere by Freemasons? Why would God’s temple ordinances use tools of a Mason?
God’s temple ordinances are clearly laid out in Leviticus in the Bible, and they include no such things.
Historically, Freemasonry can be traced back to starting around the 15th to 16th century (well after the time of Jesus) as a tradesman’s organization, to protect members of it’s craft and help them verify that someone really knew their craft (thus secret handshakes, and symbols of tools). Over the years much mythology was added to Freemasonry. Much of the Mormon temple endowment is a copy of masonic temple ceremonies, including the signs, tokens, and much of the wording.
Some people might say well, Joseph Smith probably got these things from revelations given to him by God. If these things were revealed to Joseph Smith from God, then why didn’t he put them into use until after he became a Freemason?
Prior to Joseph Smith becoming a mason, he had made temple ceremonies (such as were performed in the Kirtland LDS temple), but these ceremonies were nothing compared to the ceremonies completely changed them to have the symbols, signs, vocabulary and clothing of Freemasonry, including robes, aprons, handshakes, ritualistic raising of the arms ceremonies after he became a Freemason. It’s clear then that Joseph Smith copied Freemasonry.
Jesus never asks his followers to do temple ceremonies in the Bible. Even the Book of Mormon, which Joseph Smith said was the “most correct book on earth”, never even mentions temple ceremonies. Not even once! If the temple ceremonies came from the time of Adam, as some LDS claim, then why wouldn’t they be in the Bible, or at least the Book of Mormon?
Well, it’s interesting to note, Joseph Smith “authored” the Book of Mormon in 1830, before he had become a Freemason and was introduced to masonic temple rituals, so would makes sense that he didn’t include them in prior writings.
Both Mormonism and Freemasonry ask people to make secret/sacred oaths. What does the bible have to say on the subject?
James 5:12 “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.”
John 18:10 “Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.”
Ephesians 5:11 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.”
See Wikipedia for more info about Mormonism and Masonry, where they also have references: