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Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons

3.08  ·  Rating details ·  236 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Why did Joseph Smith become a Freemason? Who introduced Freemasonry into Nauvoo, Illinois, in the early 1840's? Do the Masons really descend from the stonemasons who built King Solomon's temple? Is there a relationship between the Masonic lodge rites and Mormon temple ordinances? The subject of Joseph Smith and Freemasonry sparks a wide range of responses among Latter-day ...more
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Covenant Communications
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Lyle Beefelt
Jan 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Matthew Brown misses the mark. As a mormon and a freemason with long experience with both rituals, the historical connections between the masonic lodge in Nauvoo and the temple ceremonies introduced in Nauvoo are too obvious to ignore. Mr. Brown's scholarly research leads him to the conclusion that masonic ritual has its roots in ancient christian ritual as opposed to masonry's mythic origins surrounding the building of King Solomon's temple. This potentially true but inconclusive. Even Mr. Brow ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
As a Mormon, I was very much intrigued by the idea of exploring the connection that the church, and more specifically temple worship, share with Freemasonry. I had only a slight knowledge of Freemasons and their practices before this book, and was quite aware of some of the similarities. However, this book, which has numerous flaws of presentation, didn't leave me much wiser about the subject and felt like a grasping defense of something that probably didn't need to be defended.

Because of the sa
Quinn Lavender
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This book totally misses the mark. There are extreme similarities between Masonic initiation ceremonies and the Mormon temple endowment. Yes, there are other similarities as well....but when people talk about the "similarities between Mormons and Masons" they are talking about the connections in their respective temples. This book is nearly silent on why the ceremonies are so similar. You have to wait clear until Appendix 2 of the book to get a few quotes from past Mormon leaders about why they ...more
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: religiosity
I had high hopes for this book--and was mostly unfulfilled. The information here is interesting but I felt like the author was condescending and defensive much of the time. Neither a Mormon nor a Mason would get much out of the superficial information presented here. And Brown needed a better editor. The book is not particularly well-written (I know because I read it out loud to my husband while traveling...the writing doesn't really flow). Perhaps it was written quickly to ride the Lost Symbol ...more
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons" - Matthew Brown

If I wrote a book on the Mormon Masonic connection it would go like this.

"There is an obvious connection between the Masonic ritual and the structure and presentation
of the Mormon endowment. That's pretty much where the connection ends." (Pauni. Knopf 2012, pg.1 of 1)

That's it. That would be my whole book. But the late great Matthew Brown wrote a very good book with Mormons and Masons. His research was thorough and his language
Mar 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book lacks academic integrity, it's poor quality writing.

Whatever the truth of the relationship between Mormonism and Freemasons, this book does little to clarify it. This book picks facts and presents half-truths in the cheapest, easiest way to reassure those who might fear that Mormonism's rituals are a pantomime of borrowings. Matt Brown should take a lesson from Richard Bushman- present the facts thoroughly, honestly, and justify your interpretation with a little respect for your reader
Tayler Morrell
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I remember when this came out in 2009. I had just finished my college exams for the semester and was at BYU’s campus bookstore to buy my reward of a book for finishing another semester. I saw this on the shelf after I already purchased a book and knew I wanted to read it sometime.

I have always been interested in esoteric/religious history, especially after reading The Secret History of the World. Growing up, I had heard that Masons were bad and that Mormons were accused of taking things from Mas
Mike Day
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Detailed and well written, Matt Brown explains that while the Masonic rituals were the catalyst to get Joseph Smith in a position to ask questions and receive the endowment, the endowment's ideas, doctrines, and fundamental parts were revealed to Joseph Smith in Ohio long before his introduction to Masonry.
James Biser
Mar 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
This is a good historical treatise concerning Masons and the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Questions are presented and answered concerning similarities between temple ordinances and Masonry.
Zachary Foser
May 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book is interesting and tries to stay neutral on controversial topics but, I feel that it fails to do so. It is very one sided and fails to make connections that make since between the two groups.
Jessica Tenney
Jun 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting, but thought it would explore more similarities as outlined in the Appendixes. A decent commentary.
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Decent commentary for any speculation on the connection between these two very different groups.
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: lds, non-fiction
It was difficult to ascertain to whom the author was directing his information. Mr. Brown takes it for granted that the reader will share the spiritual beliefs of the LDS Church, yet his defensive tone is unnecessary for an LDS reader. Those reading to satisfy a curiosity of LDS ordinances will gain very little here; those well versed in the Temple ceremonies will find many correlations to the Masonic rituals.

Here’s how I see it: If the ceremonies practiced in the LDS Temples come from God (havi
Joe Wisniewski
Dec 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book started out slowly. I felt it was really going to be a superficial read, however I wasn't ultimately disappointed. The "meat" of this book ties together very nicely with the expansion of temple ordinance work between that which was performed in Kirtland and Nauvoo. In fact, close attention to this book provides an enlightened view of parts of the D&C.

The vast majority of the claimed relationships/borrowing from the Masons has as much to do with the unspecified origins of the Masons as
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: church
I read this book hoping to learn more about the similarities between the Mason and the temple ceremonies, especially as Joseph Smith introduced them. Instead it was a well-researched, well-written defense showing that Joseph didn't, or couldn't have, stolen the Mason's ceremonies, and that instead any similarities between the two come from the fact that the Masonic ceremonies originated in early Christianity, which uses many of the same elements as the temple. So that was a little disappointing. ...more
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2013
It certainly makes one uncomfortable. We all know Joseph could receive revelation, and that he didn't need help from the Masons, but such an intense interest? It does make one think. I got the impression Brown was suggesting that men were acting so dishonorably towards the church, he felt he needed support from honorable men and chose the Masons.
71:Freemasonry is the one of the strongest binding contracts that exists between man and man. John Taylor
95: The object of our religion is to make us m
Apr 21, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Apzmarshl by: Karen Snook
Brown tidily lays out why LDS temples and temple ordinance work is not founded or copied from Freemasonry. The book, as non-fiction is informative, especially the footnotes, but not a wild and intense read. Much of the information you probably already knew if you are LDS. Also, because Brown did not want to leak or slander the sacred LDS ordinances or Freemason rituals, there was actually little he could say......which is probably why you picked the book up in the first place (to get all of the ...more
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating reading. I had heard some of the "myths" that Brown points out, but I had no idea of the depth of the supposed connections.

Brown did a good job of laying out the information and the evidence to support his claims. What I most missed was a more in-depth analysis of why things are said or believed. I also wanted more information on how Brigham Young changed things from the original (apart from the fact that Joseph Smith instructed him to standardize things and make things flow better).
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think this is great book. It seems well-written and was an interesting read. Matthew Brown is very respectful towards both the Masons and the Mormons, as he respectfully deals with their histories, leaders, and secret/sacred things that go on within their lodges and temples. The book isn't really super detailed on any one topic, but Brown seems to cover all the bases, providing a basic understanding. He separates fact from myth, and fleshes each of those out a bit. I love that Brown has endnot ...more
Oct 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Since I have ancestors who were Masons, beginning with my father, I read this book as more of a curiosity. Growing up, I spent a great deal of time in Masonic lodges because of my involvement in Junior Stars, the young woman's arm of Masonry.
I found the book to be very interesting and informative reading, and it answered questions I had about the origins of Masonry. I concluded that Masons originated with the Priesthood and not the other way around, as claimed by some. The explanations of Mason
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
I need a rating category that is 3 1/2 stars. This is a very scholarly treatment of the subject. There are extensive footnotes and source documentation. But don't let that scare you off. I enjoyed reading this because it was so well researched. I liked the history timeline of Joseph Smith joining the Masons and the introducing of the temple endowment. Lots of good tidbits for thought. I especially liked the chapter entitled History, Theory and Myth. The author explores 15 statements about the co ...more
Jul 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a subject that has long been on my to-read-about list. I was not disappointed. Very well researched and organized, notation was extensive and intriguing in itself, subject is well-covered.
From the inside jacket cover-
"Why did Joseph Smith become a Freemason?...Do the Masons really descend from the stonemasons who built King Soloman's Temple? Is there an ancient relationship between the Masonic lodge rites and the Mormon temple ordinances?...Readers will consider provocative questions a
May 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: religious
Didn't know much about the Freemasons and when I had something thrown at me I decided to investigate a bit. It turned out what I thought it would be, there are similarities, just as there are similarities with other religions. What the Mormons claim is that their church is a restoration of the original church, before it went through modifications after the death of Christ. Research abounded, though I thought Brown's assertions were a bit of a stretch at times. Overall, I learned a lot and will p ...more
Rex Cluff
May 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a examination of the alleged connection between Masonic symbols and Mormon symbols. Although Mr. Brown did some extensive research, he did not present it in this volume other than to give an overview of his findings. I would have liked to read more deeply on the subject. Overall, what he presented agreed with what I had already deduced on the subject with a couple of new thoughts for me to add to my mental file on the topic. I liked what I read but would have liked to read more.
Nov 27, 2009 rated it liked it
I don't think I was the target audience for this book. The relationship between the Mormons and the Masons was discussed in generalities that required familiarity, not only with masonry and mormon temple ordinances, but also with the discussion and lore surrounding this topic . . . which I am not. Still - what I was able to digest and understand - it was quite interesting.
Jan 20, 2010 added it
Just when I was about to give up on this book, it got interesting! Especially to see the parallels and differences between mormons and masons. This book is a shorter read that it appears, there are several pages of notes/siting sources after each chapter- that helped me get through it! There were times I was really bored with the info, and times where it got very intriguing!
Becky Roper
May 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I was surous to learn more about this subject after reading Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol." This LDS author is trying to give an unbiased look at this, and mostly he succeeds, but it didn't give the information I was looking for. What it did have was interesting and well documented, so you could spend a lot of time studying the information.
Jodee Clark
Oct 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Very informative. I think I connected with the latter half of the book better than the first. It may have been better if I had read this rather than listed to it as it went kind of fast. The info was good though. After reading the Dan Brown Trilogy with Robert Langdon and all his Masonic themes it was nice to put it together with my own beliefs.
Dec 17, 2011 rated it liked it
A mediocre book at best, nothing is really explained beyond what the average person already knows. The one interesting part was how the Church and the Masonic order began to intermingle, with members of the Church also joining with the Masons. Over all though i felt better histories of both groups could be found elsewhere.
Micah Grant
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Micah by: Kaelyn Grant
Shelves: gospel
The author has done some very in depth research, and presents it in a way that allows the reader to make their own connections and opinions. The rumors and myths are presented and along with the probably reasons behind where and why they started. By presenting the facts and information from both the Masons and the LDS Church history the rumors and myths can be clarified and understood.
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