The Mormon religion was from its inception meant to be the mystic Christian religion that the Masons had claimed existed in ancient times, complete with the blood line of Jesus Christ.
Many of the early Mormons had been Masons before joining up with Joseph Smith, Jr. "Among the prominent Mormons who had been Masons for years were the following, though the list does not include them all: Hyrum Smith, Newel K. Whitney, Heber C. Kimball, John C. Bennett, George Miller, Lucius N. Scovil, Elijah Fordham, John Smith, Austin Cowles, Noah Rogers, and James Adams."87
The Masonic career of Heber C. Kimball, an outstanding early Mormon leader was described by his daughter Helen Mar Kimball in an article she wrote in Woman's Exponent, (Vol. XII, p.126).
"It was in 1823 when he received the first degrees of Masonry in the lodge at Victor Flats, Ontario Co., New York, and in 1824, previous to receiving all of the rights up to the Royal Arch Masons, the Morgan affair broke out and the Masonic Hall in Canandaigua was burned by anti-Masons, and all their records consumed. It seems that the Masons were persecuted and the same unjust proceedings were heaped upon them by the anti-Masons that have been upon those who hold the Priesthood. ' Not as many as three of us,' father says, 'could meet together, unless in secret, without being mobbed. I have been driven from my houses and possessions with many of my brethren belonging to that fraternity five times, by mobs led by some of their leading men. . . I have been as true as an angel from the heavens to the covenants I made in the lodge at Victor I wish that all men were Masons and would live up to their professsion, then the world would be in a much better state than it is now."
Several items are noteworthy. Heber C. Kimball was a staunch Mason his entire life. The theory that Mormons quit being Masons after the Nauvoo Lodge was shut down is a deception.
The Mason Sidney Rigdon was a Cambellite leader who had two communes. When Mormons missionaries happened to come through his area Rigdon, immediately invited them in as guests, and in a rather quick way, pronounced to his group that he had discovered the true religion and its new prophet Joseph Smith. That a leader of a group could change overnite, and hand his churches over to another, is rather suspicious. There have been a number of tie-ins made between Rigdon and Smith, before they officially met. Although it is difficult to know for sure, it does appear that Smith and Rigdon were in some type of collusion.
Alexander Campbell, who disliked Freemasonry, but had tried to work with Sidney Rigdon wrote, "Rigdon had been for some time diligently engaged in endeavoring, by obscure hints and glowing millenial theories, to excite the imagination of his hearers, and in seeking by fanciful interpretations of Scripture to prepare the minds of the churches of Northern Ohio for something extraordinary in the near future. He sought especially in private to convince certain influential persons that, along with the primitive gospel, supernatural gifts and miracles ought to be restored, and that, as at the beginning, all things should be held in common Cowdery and Pratt soon made their appearance in Mentor [one of Rigdon's communes] , and were received as old acguaintences by Rigdon, who at once publicly endorsed their claims and with several others was immersed into the new faith..."
The day-book used by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo is now in the possession of the Iowa Masonic Library. It reveals that the Masonic Lodge funds were considered but a part of the Mormon community's resources.88
Interestingly, Horace Greeley, a Republican candidate for president in 1872, and the publisher of the important New York Tribune would give much publicity for the Millerites89 and some for the Mormons, while at the same time denouncing Masonry. Greeley also supported communism,90 and the occult and spiritism that oddly enough was what the European Masons were promoting. All this at the same time he was maintaining a highly visible anti-Masonic profile. Is the reader beginning to see how this conspiracy operates?
And this book was written in order for Christians to realize that just because someone is publicly against Masonry doesn't mean he is against the New World Order. They feel they are sure to win, because they have camoflouged their power in a Matrix with seemingly independent nodes.
Let us return to the restoration that Smith was bringing to Christianity.
Mormonism isn't simply the Temple ceremonies, but it encompasses an authority structure of priests and a priest/king/prophet ruler along with its mass of revelations and doctrines.
Many of these "revelations" are simply the regurgitation of masonic beliefs from the ages. Even the approach to doctrine is definitively masonic.
A most remarkable book Line Upon Line put out by the liberal Mormon scholars shows the remarkable parallels between the generic theology of the Masons and the generic theology of the Mormons. As the LDS church promotes such men, even while criticizing some of their findings, one concludes that this book's scholarship and documentation is not only accurate but approved.
Mormon scholar Stephen L. Richards writes in this book, "Dogmatism and bigotry have been the deadliest enemies of true religion in the long past." "The very elasticity of prayers, ceremonies, and procedure is additional evidence to me of the adoptability of our religion to human needs and therefore of its divinity."91 He should have added their elasticity of what is doctrinally and fundamentally true also, for Line Upon Line clearly documents that every major Mormon belief has gone through changes.
Change and development characterize Mormon doctrine, consistency does not. For instance, on p. 178, Mormon scholar Bryd Kirkland states, "...Smith himself departed radically from his own teachings, giving precendent for Young's additional innovations."92
Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt then in turn deviated from Brigham Young,93 the second Prophet's views, and Brigham Young censured Pratt's concepts of God. An official censuring by Young occured in 1860 and 1865.94 Pratt felt God was "The Great First Cause". The idea was rejected by Young. Without going the details, it can be stated that both men were building upon contradictory teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr.95
The issue here is not which view point of Joseph Smith was right, but for Mormons the issue revolved around a power struggle. As far as doctrine Mormons are given the flexibility in deciding for themselves. The issue was that Brigham Young felt his authority was being challenged, and he was determined to remain "the Prophet." Today, Young's views of eternal progression and the "second death" would be rejected as heretical by many Mormons.
The generic doctrines of the Mormons is not so troubling then as the authority that the rank and file give to their leaders. It is conceivable that a Mormon could even agree with orthodox doctrine, but it is not conceivable that he could remain Mormon and remain out from under the authority of his King/Priest. Some Mormons are attending New Age churches, but are members in good standing at the LDS church, because they pay their tithe.96 They receive their home visits, and are not treated negatively by other Mormons. They are not seen as questioning the LDS church's authority. (Chapter 2.9 picks up the story of the LDS church after Joseph Smith.)
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