As Rev. F.E. Schumann, a retired Pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, notes in his superb pamphlet on Mormonism, which he wrote after spending many years as a Missionary among the Mormons, opens the section dealing with "Mormonism and Masonry" with these words:
"A chapter on Mormonism and Masonry is in place here, to answer the many questions asked with regard to the Mormon temples.
"It is significant that Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum Smith, and Brigham Young were all Masons. Today Mormons are barred by the Masonic Lodge of Utah and Mormonism is opposed to lodgery, specifically Masonry."3
S.H. Goodwin, P.G.M., points out in his authoritative treatise on Mormonism and Masonry that:
"The observant Craftsman cannot be long among the Mormon people without noting the not infrequent use made of certain emblems and symbols which have come to be associated in the public mind with the Masonic fraternity. And now and again he will catch expressions and phrases in conversation, and meet with
2I Thessalonians 2:14-16.
3F.E. Schumann, "Is this the Church of Jesus Christ?" (St. Louis: Concordia
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terms in literature, which are suggestive, to say the least. If he should continue his residence in Utah, he will sometimes be made aware of the fact, when shaking hands with a Mormon neighbor or friend, that there is a pressure of the hand as though some sort of a 'grip' is being given."1
Goodwin then describes in detail the oaths, grips, and signs of Mormonism as given in the Temple, saying:
"The audience stands, each with the right hand raised to a square, when the following oath is taken:
"We, and each of us, solemnly bind ourselves that we will not reveal any of the secrets of the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should I do so, I agree that my throat may be cut from ear to ear, and my tongue torn out by its roots.'
"Grip. The grip is very simple: hands clasped, pressing the point of the knuckle of the index finger with the thumb.
"Sign. In executing the sign of the penalty, the hand, palm down, is placed across the body, so that the thumb comes directly under and a little behind the ear. The hand is then drawn sharply to the right across the throat, the elbow standing out at a position of ninety degrees from the body; the hand is dropped from the square to the side.
"...Various characters appear and carry on a dialogue, and then a robe and sandals are put on the candidate, and the apron replaced, and the second oath is administered:
'We, and each of us, do solemnly promise and bind ourselves never to reveal any of the secrets of this priesthood, with the accompanying name, grip and penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our breasts may be torn open, our heart and vitals torn out and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.'
"Grip. Clasp the right hand and place the thumb into the hollow of the knuckles, between the first and second finger.
"Sign. The sign is made by extending the right hand across the left breast, directly over the heart; then drawing it rapidly from left to right with the elbow at the square; then dropping the hand to the side.
"The Candidates are then conducted into what is known as the 'Celestial Room.' There also characters appear and carry on conversations, relating to the ceremonies, and other preparations are made for administering of the third oath, which is as follows:
'You, and each of you, do covenant and promise that you will never reveal any of the secrets of the priesthood, with any accompanying name, sign and penalty. Should you do so, you agree that your body may be cut asunder and all your bowels gush out.'
"In this, the left hand is placed palm upright, directly in front of the body, there being a right angle formed at the elbow; the right hand, palm down, is placed under the elbow of the left; then drawn sharply across the bowels, and both hands
1S.H. Goodwin, "Mormonism and Masonry: A Utah Point of View" (Salt Lake City, Utah: Grand Lodge, F.& A. M. of Utah, 1961), p. 43.
dropped to the side. [Sign]
"Grasping the right hands so that the little fingers are interlocked and the forefinger presses the first. This is known as the patriarchal grip, or the true sign of the nail."1 [Grip]
Past Grand Master Goodwin concludes this chapter with the very significant words:
"In taking leave of this part of the subject, the fact is worthy of record that Joseph Smith fixes the date of the introduction of the endowments (viz., Temple Rites) as May 4, 1842, nearly two months after he became a Mason."2
In attempting to justify the attitude of the Grand Lodge of Utah with regard to Mormonism, Mr. Goodwin explains:
"In view of such facts as are here set forth: with 'living oracles' whose words may at any time supersede the rule and guide of the Mason's faith and practice, and with fairly definite information as to the character of such pronouncements, where Masonry might be concerned—members of the Craft may be pardoned, perhaps, for hesitating to accept the petition of a Latter-Day Saint. And the necessity for this course is not lessened by the fact that two of the four standard works, or bibles, of the Mormon Church condemn in unsparing and unmistakable terms, all secret organizations.
"...And Masons may be pardoned, perhaps, should they seriously doubt if a 'bad' Mormon can be made over into a good Mason."3
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