Critics who portray Joseph Smith, Jr. as illiterate, superstitious, a liar, and con-artist have only served to cloud the truth about the origins of the Mormon church.
Joseph Smith, Jr.'s people were very keen on genealogy. His mother shows in her book about her son her amazing awareness of the genealogical history of their entire family.2 She traces the Smiths back to 1666. 9 It is clear from various statements that not only was Joseph Smith chosen for his work as a prophet because of his intellectual abilities,30 but that his family had been passing down their beliefs and spiritual blessings from generation to generation for some time.31
The author's research shows that Joseph Smith, Jr. was a dynamic individual, with many abilities.32 The evidence indicates that the creation of Mormonism may have been a well orchestrated plan by several families to set themselves up as the priest-prophet rulers of the New World that they had claimed was theirs years before Joseph Smith, Jr. ever announced his angelic visits.
In contrast to the role that the Masonic Lodges played in introducing the occult and generic religion, two religious groups that were openly occultic played possibly no role in the future formation of Mormon heresy. These were the Rosicrucians and the Moravian Brethren, whose leader Count Zinzendorf was head of the Rose Croix from 1744 to 1749. One of the names the Moravian Brethren went by is the Moravian Brothers of the Order of Religious Freemasons. Many of the Moravian Brethren were of Jewish blood, although nominally Lutheran. They were gnostic.33
Various books written by Rosicrucians and Freemasons, which promoted magick, astrology, mysticism, rationalism, deism, and various mystery religions and the occult, were guite popular in colonial New England and made guite an impact. A study of men connected with forming new religions, repeatedly indicates the far ranging impact of men like Boehme, Voltaire, Paine, Swendenborg, Charles Fourier and others.
Acting behind the veil of the Masonic Lodge, wave after wave of new thinking rolled into America. Later, this chapter will discuss how the Philadelphians, organized by the Masons34, would influence Saint-Simon through his friendship with the Philadelphian leader Jacgues Rigomer-Bazin. Saint-Simon wrote The New Christianity and his ideas generated religious and communistic experiments35 that eventually would influence the Mormons to adopt communism.
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