005: Masonry and Mormonism, an Interview with Greg Kearney

September 14, 2005
By

Last night I recorded a super duper interesting podcast with Greg Kearney–a lifelong, multi-generational Mormon and Master Mason.

In this podcast he discusses the history of Masonry, how it became associated with the LDS Church, and why he feels like this association is a positive, and not a negative one. We go into surprising depth not just on the respective temple ceremonies (without being disrespectful, or violating covenants of course), but also on Joseph Smith’s involvement during the Nauvoo years. You will be amazed at his knowledge on these topics.

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More info on Greg: Greg Kearney was born and raised in Maine. He attended boarding schools in New England from the age of 12 until graduating from the Quaker run Oak Grove-coburn School. He is a life long member having attended up in the Farmington Ward one of the oldest LDS congigations in the world.

He graduated BYU with a BFA degree in design and completed graduate work in American Studies focusing his research on Freemasonry and it infulence on American history.

He is a life member of Franklin Lodge #123 in New Sharon, Maine as well as several lodges of research in the U.S. and Europe. He serves as the rocky mountains reporter for the French news agency AFP. He lives in Casper, Wyoming with his wife Tamara. They are the parents of three children Shawn 24, Shannon, 20 and Nathaniel 6.

He has traveled extensively including posting to Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Sweden.

 

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PLEASE give us your feedback on this podcast here on the blog.  We’d love to hear your thoughts/feelings, etc.

 

Also, don’t forget to give me feedback on what you want to hear next!!!!

John Dehlin

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39 Responses to 005: Masonry and Mormonism, an Interview with Greg Kearney

  1. Floyd the Wonderdog
    September 14, 2005 at 2:47 pm

    I’d like to hear from Jeff Lindsay on “Life and Times of an Amateur Apologist”.

  2. September 14, 2005 at 4:51 pm

    JOHN
    I am listening to the Greg Kearney interview RIGHT NOW and I’m taking notes.
    So far I’m LOVING IT! Of course I probably am not going to agree with the conclusions, but it’s getting really fascinating! I’ll update when I’m done listening. Kudos John!
    -HYRUM

  3. September 14, 2005 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks, Hyrum!!!! Let me know what you think when you’re done.

  4. September 14, 2005 at 5:39 pm

    One should add that the idea that Joseph Smith used Masonry pragmatically (i.e. just as a useful pedagogical tool) is one view, but definitely not the unanimous one. I think Nibley would probably argue against this, although his “arguments” (such as they are) are circumspect. Probably the closest he comes to a real argument is One Eternal Round.

    I’ve been touching on some of Nibley’s views on my blog.

    Anyway I think one can think that Masonry is largely a 17th century development while simultaneously thinking that it makes use of older strains. One must recall that when Masonry became speculative masonry (i.e. allowed non-working masons in and emphasized the ritual) that it adopted a lot of so-called hermetic traditions. Yet those were basically a lot of older texts and ideas that came to the forefront in Europe during the Renaissance.

    One need not read a lot of hermeticism or certain gnosticism or Kabbalism to see that a lot has uncanny parallels to more esoteric LDS thought or ritual. Yet those were widely discussed in the thinkers whose ideas were taken to create modern masonry. So when FARMS or other apologetic organizations note numerous parallels to these various Christian and Jewish writings, there is a way to show how they would have entered into Masonry.

    Probably the best author on all this is Yates. Her text is somewhat dated, but the place to start is The Rosicrucian Englightenment which is considered the history of on this. As I said it’s dated, but rather key. She briefly touches upon masonry as well. (She’s not a Mormon and isn’t writing Mormon apologetics – she’s simply a historian of the 14th through 16th centuries)

  5. September 14, 2005 at 5:42 pm

    BTW – those curious of the cry, it is “Is there No Help for the Widow’s Son.” Personally I think Reed Durhem’s theory that this was what Joseph was attempting to say as he was shot dead is rather speculative. It’s definitely possible. But I’m not convinced it is settled, the way the interview might portray.

  6. September 15, 2005 at 9:32 am

    HMMM…
    This is one of the most interesting podcasts of any kind that I’ve

    ever heard … personally.

    My overall feeling is one of awkwardness and bewilderment of my own self.

    Am I judging? Am I just saying that “apologists” or “experts” of any

    Mormon related field, who defend the church, are all predictable?

    I can’t seem to get the aftertaste out of my mouth … that … every

    single “apologist” that I have personally come to listen to, study, etc.

    etc. etc., they all come up with their own little world in their mind that

    “makes it all okay.”

    I know that similar lines and comparisons can and are drawn about EXMOS or

    ANTIS. Still, it deserves to be stated that Kearney, Lindsey, Nibley, and

    even McConkie sometimes, all build these straw houses of their own

    opinions. This is quite dangerous because: either science or the church

    come out with something later on down the line that completely refutes the

    apologist theory that they’ve relied on for so long. It’s like defending

    the flat earth idea and then having to realize down the road that you’ve

    been PROVEN wrong.

    How does this fall into the Kearney talk? Well … from what I remember,

    the temple ceremony itself states that men have been doing this since ADAM.

    And it doesn’t just say that men have been doing parts of the so-called

    “endowment” or that men have been just doing parts of the “promises” to

    God.

    Kearney’s idea that God needed Joseph to somehow teach the church about the

    promises, so then Joseph CHOSE Masonic rituals to do so … well this is

    just revolutionary

    Yet .. could this EVER come out of the mouth of the church? Finally, I

    agree with Kearney, that the flexibility that the church has in its

    constant changing of rituals, practices, doctrines, and frankly, morals, is

    pure magic. Their ability to be flexible under the banner of “prophecy” or

    “revelation” leaves room for change in ANY area. This is also their

    downfall. They’ve painted themselves into the corner again. All their

    teachings of an “apostasy” rely on Christianity falling because it kept

    changing from what they claim was the original version. So if they come

    right out & unabashedly say that they have and can change anything they

    damn well please, they’re in a bind.

    I guess my last impressions of the show, or as I call it, my

    ‘after-tastes,’ are:

    1. It’s interesting that Dehlin states that this concern is not on his top

    10 list anymore. If only it were that easy for others!

    2. It’s quite flexible of the church to allow personal

    revelation on any subject, but not allow that same individual

    to receive church-wide doctrinal changing power, (D&C 28: 2-7). This

    permits that individuals create their own little worlds of religion in

    their own minds. Then, if the church, or prophet, comes out with something

    official, that completely contradicts that persons personal feeling of

    correctness, their world could shatter, and they certainly DO lose tons of

    credibility. This is evident with McConkie and his repeal of African

    Americans holding the “priesthood.”

    3. I love John Dehlin’s podcast! This man is an absolute genius. Why he

    isn’t running Mormon Miscellaneous is a mystery to me. I found it

    comical (literally, I laughed hard … oops loud laughter, Satin’s gunna

    GIT me!) when Kearney proposed what his solution would be for the

    church to address the Masonry issue. I don’t laugh AT Kearney, rather,

    it’s just funny that everyone has their own way of how the church could fix

    all of this. John’s preposition of being “honest” and putting an even a

    small snippet somewhere in an Ensign was HIS solution. Mine is the church

    admitting the goofy plagiarism and stopping it, or at least letting kids

    know beforehand – what the hell they’re gunna see and do in the temple &

    letting families be a part of weddings no matter what. And Kearney’s

    solution: …. (drum roll) … explain that the cultural hall in Nauvoo

    isn’t really just a cultural hall … and the circular wear and tear

    patterns on the floor aren’t from “dancing!” It’s just funny, but I guess

    God’s ways aren’t man’s ways so any suggestions that they change until

    their damn well and ready to do so would be “speaking evil of the Lawrd’s”

    anointed!

    ps.
    The church is screwed with its own articles of faith. I used to think that

    you could prove everything true with those. Well its opposite now

    for me … it can be proven false with the AoF. Or even just two of

    them. Number 13 (the honesty part, cuz they aren’t, darned hypocrites) and

    number 9. That “has revealed” part is the kicker, cuz … well, ya just

    can’t do the “does now reveal” and the “has revealed” and the “will yet

    reveal” simultaneously. If you do … then your followers have to come up

    with podcasts fighting each other’s points! LOL!

    HYRUM

  7. September 15, 2005 at 9:43 am

    BY THE WAY

    I’m not trying to fight … or get bitter with anyone really. So if any pro mormon wants to discuss stuff with me on this comment board, realize I’m not attacking you personally.

    I thought John might like to see the personal NOTES I typed while listening to Kearney’s show.

    Here they are:
    (they’re personal notes, so they’re pretty random by nature)

    945 AD
    york england

    Hyrum Abiff

    “Widely accepted that it can’t can’t be traced historically back to Solomon’s Temple. The bible is clear on what went on!”

    Solomon’s Temple practiced the ritualistic slaughter of animals.

    first degree
    comes without metal
    blindfolded
    moralistic story told
    brought to center of lodge
    book of holy scripture
    make promises –

    instructed in further light and knowledge – enlightenment

    MUST MEMORIZE AND RECITE BACK TO THEM

    master masons play the part of hyrum abiff
    in the end you are raised (physically lifted up as a master mason) usually by your father

    joseph smith was made a mason UPON SITE by grandmaster mason jonas
    when he was questioned about this he sited the joseph was a “louis”
    doesn’t become master of lodge in nauvoo – becomes chaplain

    I believe that he could be exed if he were to publish it!
    Critic becoming the expert because of ignorance.

    Believes that Joseph used the simple ritualistic form to teach saints in a way they already knew about, that they had to commit to with God.

    Basic Ritualistic Form
    Alligorical Play
    Questions & Answers
    Physical Actions that don’t have the same name or meaning.

    COMMON
    handshakes
    5 points of fellowship
    square & compass
    aprons
    “holiness to the lord”
    penalties

  8. Ben S.
    September 15, 2005 at 10:03 am

    “from what I remember, the temple ceremony itself states that men have been doing this since ADAM.
    [2]And it doesn’t just say that men have been doing parts of the so-called “endowment” or that men have been just doing parts of the “promises” to
    God.”

    I think you’re remembering incorrectly, and reading in the second part. FWIW, I put up a post that deals with one aspect of this here

  9. Hellmut
    September 15, 2005 at 10:29 am

    Great podcast, John. Thanks a lot.

    If the Mormon church were to come clean, it would change the preceived nature of revelation. The end result would be less power for the Brethren.

    Joseph apparently adapted the Masonic rites to Mormon purposes. That is a creative act that requires inspiration. However, this concept challenges the notion of divine origin. Joseph is now inspired in very much the same way as other playwrights and artists.

    That is a problem for Mormon theology. After all, Gordon Hinckley teaches “Do anything the Church asks you to” (Ensign, November 2003, 113). He can hardly justify that statement by invoking the inspiration of a playwright. Some people submit to such demands because they have the impression that Hinckley and Smith have direct access to god.

    I agree that it would be possible to preserve the allegiance of many members while being honest about the origins of the temple rites and other facts of Mormon heritage. However, that honesty would limit the power of LDS leaders substantially. The members, of course, would benefit from their emancipation.

  10. Administrator
    September 15, 2005 at 11:21 am

    There are a few things that I feel (and these are feelings…mixed with a little bit of data).

    1) I do feel like the “bretheren” are generally really, really good men. Some of them great men. I’ve met a few of them, and spoken with many who have worked closely with them, and that’s the data I’ve received. Though I also know that there are some exceptions.

    2) I think it would be incredibly hard to be one of them. You inherit the church when you become an apostle. Its culture, its structure, its policies, its past statements, its beurocracies, etc. If you ever even want a hope of making a real difference, you have to do it within the rubric, not as a “rebel”

    3) One incredibly complex part of that job is dealing with millions of people–from different countries–with totally different states of mind. How to create one policy, or one statement–that meets the needs of ALL those people is an impossible task.

    I don’t envy them at all. And I don’t view them as sinister men. I view them as generally good men, some great….who are just trying to work within the imperfect framework, trying to make things better.

    My 2 cents.

  11. September 15, 2005 at 11:32 am

    WOW
    to suggest that the church doesn’t teach – or that the temple ceremony itself doesn’t teach – that it’s been going on JUST LIKE THIS since the creation of man is SILLY!

    I dare not post (LOL) the entire, or parts of, the so-called “ceremony” here. That being said, ceremony and church teachings back up the well known principle that men have been doin’ this stuff since adam. And it can’t change. Remember THIS LINK & QUOTE:

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: ‘Ordinances instituted in the heavens before the foundation of the world, in the priesthood, for the salvation of men, are not to be altered or changed. All must be saved on the same principles.’

    AND THEN: remember what you’re told after getting your garments! When you get yourself a pair of those oh-so-magical underwear, it’s mentioned that this stuff is of ancient origin goin’ on since Adam.

    Regarding my previous post … what about the whole, “personal versus church wide revelation” argument???”

    Why is it even necessary for there to be so many blogs of “Mormon Thought” and SPECULATION of why it’s all true.
    Can’t the “brethren” just give the black and white answer that they claim to have. Lord knows, Joseph Smith would do that if he were here.

    Fact is = Church Ain’t True.

    Might be okay to stay in just to ‘heal sick’ and help people. I’ve heard great thinkers like John Dehlin & D. Michael Quinn say stuff like this (that’s not to say that teach that the church isn’t true, but they’ve both stated that it’s good to stay in, even if it’s just to help others). My personal belief (and it’s just that – personal) is that they, like everyone else, know deep down inside that … something about LDS Inc. is truely WONKY!

    What about my ARTICLES OF FAITH argument? You just can’t do that and still hold water! “All that he has revealed, does reveal, and will reveal.”

    FACT: The MORG has GOOFED.

    Morally – with blacks & priesthood, moutain meadows, & blood atonement doctrines, failed prophecies, and more.

    It’s goofed doctrinally with … well … just about everything!

    Funny thing is … that’s just the Brigham branch of things. Joey didn’t even leave clear instructions of who was the right heir to the throne!!! LOL. Or someone’s hiding that he really did. Even that link that I gave earlier only gives right to Joe to give revelation. After him … who the hell knows which way to go? Does this even say that the president of the church after Joe has the right to guide the church like this? Nope … just Joe. But “liken the scriptures” argument takes care of that I guess. LOL.

    Just cuz Briggie had the support of some of the 12 … he was the most violent goofy break off I’ve seen. Why follow him? I’m liking Community of Christ more and more every day!

    It’s all good to hope though that you’re with the right break off though huh! Giggle!

    -HYRUM

  12. Ben S.
    September 15, 2005 at 11:36 am

    “However, this concept challenges the notion of divine origin.”

    Non-sequitor.

    As a parellel, Joseph has to translate the Book of Mormon into English, and the language was clearly his. The 1800’s dialect evident in the 1830 edition is no barrier to divine origin unless you believe that prophets are automatons reciting divinely written script. Having to adapt something to modernity does not invalidate the underlying layer.

  13. September 15, 2005 at 2:02 pm

    Just to add, while I disagree with Br. Kearney on some key points about Masonry, I thought it was a fine interview.

    As to Hyrum, I think you’ll find that the most productive way to learn and understand is to accept fallibilism. We all put out models that seem reasonable. Then, often through discourse, we test them and perhaps reject them. I think criticizing Mormon apologists because they do this is unwise.

  14. JosephLied
    September 16, 2005 at 2:46 pm

    I think I’m in love with Tina. ;-)

    Nort

  15. September 20, 2005 at 10:27 pm

    Greg: Loved your insightful thoughts. Fascinating! Thanks so much.

  16. Anne Hutchinson
    September 22, 2005 at 8:14 pm

    John,

    I finally was able to listen to through the podcast. I enjoyed it and appreciate the time you took to arrange and interview Greg Kearney. It was interesting for me to hear his perspective on the temple endowment ceremony and Masonry.

    My own experience has been of reading the endowment ceremony transcript on the internet, reading a few Dialogue articles and a few books on Masonry.

    As a woman, I perceive the Masonry / Endowment experience as being a male-themed club or fraternity. Participants wear uniforms, have ‘secrets’, make oaths and perform hand signals. I find the subservience of women as I read in the transcripts of the endowment ceremony repugnent.

    For me, learning about the history of Masonry and development of the endowment ceremony does not reduce my discomfort with the temple and its ceremonies. I’m guessing that there are other women like “Tina” who make the break from church when confronted with the temple ceremony.

    I’m looking forward to your future podcasts with Sunstone. “Anne”

  17. September 30, 2005 at 12:03 am

    I think it is too bad that your interesting interview hasn’t recieved a more thoughtful discussion. The whole point is to try to understand our stories better and from new perspectives. Like Clark, I may disagree with a few points, but I thought that the interview was fabulous. The history of framington alone was worth the whole deal.

    It is hard for people like Hyrum, it would seem, to appreciate the narrative and respectfully discuss his part in it, instead of wallowing in the perjorative.

    Thanks for the show.

  18. Tom
    September 30, 2005 at 3:39 pm

    Interesting thought which I found helpful in rationalising the ‘changes’ in the Endowment:

    The Endowment is divided into two parts. One contains the never-changing ‘message’ which is carried through the medium of the ‘ceremonies’ which can and do change. Sounds reasonable – and enlightening.

  19. October 19, 2005 at 9:33 pm

    Listening to this interview was a very “lights on” experience for me. I really appreciated the insights and opinions of Brother Kearney. I don’t see a conflict between believing that Joseph modelled some of the endowment ceremony on the Masonic rituals and believing that elements of this ceremony have been around since the time of Adam. The Masonic rituals weren’t formed in a Medieval vacuum. I suspect there was influence in both directions in some form or another.

  20. Jared
    November 9, 2005 at 11:57 am

    I just recently listened to this podcast, and the interview with Hyrum. First of all to Hyrum I have to say that while you like to go on about honesty and openness you don’t seem to be very consistent in your approach. In the interview you go to great lengths to try and sound respectful, like you’ve made a personal choice but you have respect for everyone, and then here you show a complete lack of respect and a childish use of namecalling (“briggy” “joey” etc..) You lost any credibility you might have had.

    Secondly, just a question for anyone who may know. For a long time I’ve had an interest in possibly becoming a mason. I was wondering if the church has any official stance on whether that is advisable or not.

    Thanks.

  21. Greg Kearney
    November 9, 2005 at 12:40 pm

    Dear Brother;

    My name is Greg Kearney and I am the Master Mason that was interviewed on Mormon Stories a while back.

    To answer your question, to become a Mason you must ask. I would start by contacting a local lodge in your area or the Grand Lodge in your state. If you need help write back with your city and state and I can look up the information. Or type in Grand Lodge [your state name] into Google.

    To answer your other question. In years past when the Utah Grand Lodge prevented members of the church from joining in Utah there were statements made which discouraged membership is secret organization.

    This situation has now changed and little is said of the matter. In any case Masonry is not a secret organization. Our meeting are publicly announced, our membership open to all and our ritual published by both masonic and non-masonic publishers. We are no more “secret” than the Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow is.

    Hope this helps.

    Greg Kearney

  22. Sam
    November 9, 2005 at 3:24 pm

    Jared,

    Where are you from?

    Sam

  23. Jared
    November 10, 2005 at 7:43 am

    Utah

  24. Sam
    November 10, 2005 at 7:46 am

    Jared,

    If you want some contacts to speak to there about Masonry, shoot me an email with some contact info at mohun1066@yahoo.com and I will pass it on to them.

    Sam

  25. Craig
    November 12, 2005 at 2:40 am

    John
    Tonight I was finally able to listen to your interview with Greg K. (It was kind of long, but well worth it.) I found his comments and insight to be very interesting and helpful. For quite some time I have felt very uncomfortable with the temple endowment. Frankly, I have struggled to even get motivated to attend the temple. The information presented by Greg, however, has got me thinking about the endowment from a fresh perspective. While I am not necessarily accepting everything he said as truth, the information he presented has helped to create in me a renewed enthusiasm for the endowment.
    Great interview!!

  26. Sam
    November 12, 2005 at 7:24 am

    I found it very interesting as well. As a Mason, I have my own theories about the endowment that do not agree with his, but he certainly puts forward a good enough argument for me. Believe me, the things that are similar are minor and the overall experience is much different. At least in my opinion.

  27. Eddy
    December 9, 2005 at 6:30 pm

    Very interesting interview. Being one of the “rare” Utah mormon masons, I very much appreciate hearing quality research in the connection between the church and the fraternity.

    Like Sam, I am not sure that I argee completely with Greg’s opinions, but they are certainly reasonable, and are just as likly as my own thoughts and feelings.

    I also agree with Sam that the similarities, while there, are superficial, and that the real meat of both ceremonies (the Endowment and the Masonic degrees) are fundamentally different and not related.

    I would be more than willing to discuss my take on Masonry and the Church with any genuinely interested parties who have a desire to learn (and not just argue). Please feel free to contact me at high12slc@gmail.com

  28. Kelly
    December 15, 2005 at 2:23 am

    I just finished listening. What a marvelous opportunity for an expert to relate his own ideas on how masonry found it’s way to Mormonism. He may not be entirely correct, but he shows alternative posibilities. This was a lesson for me not only regarding masonry but other issues that are troublesome.

    Why would we think that everything in the mid-1800s aligned perfectly with the stars and there was no struggle?

    Mormons are very human. We almost constantly feel guilty about not being perfect. That’s exactly the point, we aren’t. Joseph Smith wasn’t and neither is the Prophet today.

  29. Christopher Jodrey
    February 1, 2006 at 11:19 pm

    I have a question.

    Why exactly is Masonry so despised amongst the critics? Many people now blindly believe that Masonry is Satanic. I don’t think the arguments would hold much sway if Masonry was held as a fraternity only. So what is the basis for the common negative view of Free Masonry? This is one point that I didn’t hear very directly addressed in the Podcast and I’d like to see what anyone has to say about it.

  30. gkearney
    February 2, 2006 at 10:06 am

    I wish I had a good answer to this question but I don’t. Masonry is dispised by some who have become professional critics, who make a good living off of the libal and lies they utter.

    Other seem to misunderstand what Masonry is, calling it a religion for example.

    For others it may be the wrong idea that it is some for of secret cabal out for world domination. This last veiw comes fromt he Taxil Forgeries of the last century with still find currency to this day.

    Masons themselves are to blame as well. Some have deliberatly made Masonry seem more secrative than is needed.

    Greg Kearney

  31. MrWhipple
    February 10, 2006 at 10:58 pm

    To show that booth the endowment and the masons had ancient origns can be traced if you follow the clues. I have not the time nor space here but just do some research. Masons did not apear until after the Knights Templar were destroyed. The first masons showed up in Scotland, the last gasp of the templars. The Templars protected Jersulam, the site of the temple where the Priory of Zion dug up something that they used to blackmail the Cahtolic church to the point that the Templars and the Priory became filthy rich. (I am talking billions here) What did Lord Gefory uncover in Jeurselem? Why did they build Cathrederals? Did they use masons? Did in folk, don’t wait to be spoon fed. (clue: the DaVinci code is the tip of the iceberg!)

  32. Beth
    May 15, 2006 at 9:28 am

    First, I was curious about the commonality of Masons and Mormons – aside from the symbols and rituals – the early fundamental inquisitiveness and search for enlightenment. So here to fore, I have limited knowledge of Mormonism in contrast to a rather deep understanding of Masonry (modern and ancient) despite the “perceived” handicap of being a woman.

    I challenge those who feel victimized by the fraternity of Masonry to delve a little deeper than the sensationalists’ tabloid fodder that lines the bookshelves and theater marquees. The ancient craft pre-dates the Templars, the Crusades, and even Solomon’s Temple. Try Googling Cleopatra’s Needle. How’s that for female empowerment?

    P.S. I agree… it was hard to gain any useful insight from Hyrum with his tangent and jouvenile references to joey and briggy. I do appreciate the other’s discourse.

  33. June 28, 2007 at 10:57 am

    As a Mason and Mormon, I’m finding this thread and the POD very interesting. I’m only about half way through the actual audio, and I’m not sure if I agree with all of the conclusions Greg has drawn. Though he’s certainly done a lot more research into the topic than I have. I’ve been raised in the church my entire life, and I only recently joined Masonry around 4 months ago. I have loved it and it has found an essential role in my journey back to God. I think Masonry has everything to do with the church and it’s doctrine. It has become very spiritual for me and opened my understanding on so many topics. Let me add that I also in my hunger to learn more about Masonry have already worked my way up to Master Mason. It has fascinated me far more than I ever expected it to.
    Frankly it surprised me when in the audio link, it was said that a whole family in studying Joseph Smiths involvement with the Masons left the church. I don’t understand how that could be. For me, I think that Masonry was an important part of Josephs life. It helped him in many regards. That’s what the organization is all about. It’s because of Masonry that we have this wonderful nation created under God and organized by him. People who are afraid of Masonry don’t understand Masonry….

    As for Masonry not going back to King Solomons temple, well, as far as I know, there are 3 theories on the topic. One is that the organization was started back in England around 1400’s (I believe). The other is that it was started at King Solomos temple. The third is that it has existed far earlier than that, possibly all the way back to Adam. I am leaning towards the theory of going back to Adam, although it ofcourse can’t be proven. But we as a church can’t prove that this church goes all the way back to the Early Christian church, nor that it’s ordinances and teachings are exactly what were taught when Christ was upon the earth. We can’t prove that the Garden of Eden was in MO. We can’t prove a lot of things, but that doesn’t stop us from believing it. There are a lot of Masons who do believe that many of these things do stem from King Solomon’s temple. The are many other Masons who believe it goes back much farther than that. They are not being ignorant either. They’re merely studying out facts, listening and pondering the teachings and drawing their own conclusions. If we based all of our beliefs off of only what could be proven, then we would not have the LDS church, nor Christianity, nor many of the modern religions of today. Nor is our belief ignorant. It’s based off of what the spirit has told us, and our studying and pondering of the teachings. All of those things point us in a direction and that’s what we believe. With me, Masonry is no different. Free Masons do not claim that a Mason must believe or disbelieve something. So they don’t make any claims about whether it really does come from KST, or whether it doesn’t. They leave it up to the individual to decide.
    So with a log of respect for Greg Kearny since he is far more educated on the topic than I am, I still believe he has only stated it opinion on the topic based off of many of his own experiences and facts. He has given me much to think about and understand. But nothing i’ve heard changes what I believe about the Church or Masonry. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I also know that we do not have enough information today to completely understand everything that Joseph revealed and did while he was on this earth. Those mysteries are given line upon line, and precept upon precept They are taught be degrees only. Because Joseph was a true propeht, I believe he recognized the beautiful nature and teachings that Masonry can offer and he joined himself with them and studied all they had to teach. We don’t believe that Judiasm today holds the truth, yet Joseph Smith studied and delved into their religion as well. He was a man on a journey. He was being instructed by the Lord and the Lord used many ways to instruct him. If we keep open minds and follow the spirit, we will see His hand in all things, and we will rejoice…

  34. June 28, 2007 at 11:15 am

    Also, let me add if I will that Joseph Smith did not steel the temple ceremony from the Masons. If such were the case, then Masons throughout the world would Shun Mormons and have nothing to do with them. Such has never been the case. Today, they embrace each other.
    There might be some resemblences, but such is always the case with truth. We know that Joseph was a prophet. We know that the Book of Mormon is true and could be fabricated. We also know that the Lord said that someday he would gather Israel. He has and is doing that now, and when the Lord has a gathered people, He instructs them to build temples so they may learn His mysteries by degrees.

  35. Brian
    July 22, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    Dear John and Brother Greg,

    Thank you for a very informative podcast! I plan on listening to it again.

    Fraternally,
    Brother Brian
    (Not LDS)

  36. Deborah
    June 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    This was fantastic! I`ve always been keenly interested in this topic and have never been able to find anything satisfying about it. Also wanted to ask what role women can play in Masonry? I know a friend of mine in California Coarsegold area is a Mason and I thought he said his wife was in an Masonic organization there for ladies.

  37. Wilson
    July 2, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I’m an active temple recommend holder of the church and R.M. always ha lots of questions about who masons were and how it tied into church history… Long story short I loved the pod cast I’m going to recommend it to others who have questions of the same… Never have doubted that Joseph smith was a prophet of god because through the spirit I was able to lean it by praying and reading really wanting to know if it was all true….

    That’s why I’m a strong active member an testify to anyone doubting or really wantin to know if he was a prophet or not to just read even just parts of the book of Mormon and ask the lord himself if it’s true or not and he will answer….

    Thanks again

    ;-) tes

  38. Blake
    August 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Enjoyed this interview. Many accolades!

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