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Section 11... Cults/
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Mormon Symbols

Please Note: Each coloured link within the article will lead you to a related topic on a different page on this site. However while the text is part of the original article, the links are not. The author of this article may or may not agree with the views expressed on those pages.

 

TThe LDS Church rejects the use of the cross as a religious symbol yet adopts those used by the Masons and Satanists prominently displaying them on their temple in Utah and other buildings.. See photographs ...

See Origins of The Beehive, The Inverted Pentagram & The All-seeing Eye

To understand the symbols one must first know something of Joseph Smith's involvement with Freemasonry.  Masonic Symbols & The LDS Temple. (Also see our article on Freemasonry)

Additionally Some Mormons do not realize that their temple Endowment Ceremony was copied directly from rites in Freemasonry. The Mormon temple ceremony has no connection whatsoever with Christianity.

 

The Beehive
One of the principal symbols of The Masonic Lodge is predominantly displayed all over the Mormon temple in Utah.

"It will be remembered that in the process of censing the Lodge, a beehive-shaped structure was erected in front of the pedestal of each of the principal officers …"(C.W. Leadbeater, The Hidden Life in Freemasonry).

The symbolism of the Beehive (given to the candidate in the Third Degree as a hieroglyphic emblem) and the Bee was the subject of a talk given at the Mill Valley Masonic Lodge on February 29, 2000 by Thomas D. Worrel. He says that

    “At certain times the candidate is placed within these subtle structures so that (it is thought) he or she may absorb the subtle influences invoked by the rites.”  And “Inside the traditions that have been transmitted to us under the name of Freemasonry, lie concealed a multitude of mysteries”.

Another interesting statement ..

     "The hive proper denotes man's physical body. The honeycomb signifies that which is interior to the physical, the astral body. And the honey is symbolical of the spiritual body, which is composed of the choicest nectars and aromas of earthly experience." (C.C. Zain, Ancient Masonry)

While there is little doubt that the bee has long been a symbol of industry and work ethic, it has unassailable ties to pagan religions.

The Hindu God Shiva has been depicted by a bee surmounting a triangle and Krishna often had a blue bee on his forehead. Yogic writings liken the hum emitted by the lowest ‘chakra’ (energy center in the body) to the sound made by the bumble bee. The second temple built at Delphi was said to be built by bees. There are coins from Ephesus from the 5th century B.C. that depict a queen bee as a symbol of the Great Mother.(Ephesus was known throughout the ancient world for its temple to the Great Mother Goddess). The mystery Rites of Eleusis, centered around the goddess Demeter, were widely regarded as the high point of Greek religion and were conducted by (among others) the Panageis Priestesses or Milissae - meaning bees.

However Mr. Worrel in an attempt to connect bees and honey to Christianity says that both have “had various meanings” in both Jewish and Christian legends, quoting the story of Sampson as an example. As far as Biblical text goes it would take an enormous stretch of the imagination to read any hidden meaning or symbolism into that story, or any other reference to honey in Old or New Testament. Sampson in satisfying his greed was guilty of handling a corpse.. nothing more, nothing less. (Leviticus 11:26.)

He also speaks of the..

    “Christian uses of the symbol”, which “as to be expected centered around Christ”. The symbol of “industry, fidelity and virtue” being predominant. And makes a reference to the monasteries who learned to cultivate bees.

There is no reference to the bee or the beehive in the New Testament and ‘industry, fidelity and virtue’, while desirable, and even necessary traits in any human, are certainly not one particularly associated with Christianity. From earliest times principal Christian traits have always been ‘faith’ and ‘righteousness’.  Virtually all references to honey in the OT were ‘lands that flowed with milk and honey’ symbolizing a bountiful land. Honey could not be burned on the altar of the Lord but could be part of the offering of First fruits. Leviticus 2:11.

Simply because it was the monks who first domesticated bees cannot be taken to mean that the bees or their hives in any way symbolized Christianity.

Conclusion: While the Mormon Church may conveniently use the smoke and mirrors explanation that the symbols that adorn their temple “mean different things to us” the facts remain irrefutable. The beehive (among others) Is A symbol steeped in paganism and mystery religions with no connections to traditional Christianity. Religions and religious systems that stem from very dark and anti Christian roots and the use of these symbols would be, as Amos so eloquently quotes the Lord, as saying “A foul stench to my nostrils”. (Top)

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The Nauvoo Pentagram
By Bill McKeever

The Mormon Church has received plenty of criticism regarding the many inverted pentagrams that are displayed on both the exterior and interior of the temple in Nauvoo, Illinois. Several of them are located on the perimeter of the temple and as many as 138 inverted stars can be found in the assembly room. Inverted pentagrams can also be found on the upper walls and embroidered into the curtains of the celestial room. Some have wondered why a church claiming to be Christian would blatantly use emblems currently associated with Satanism as a temple decoration.

Mormon apologists have quickly come to their church's defense by insisting that pentagrams have historically been a positive symbol and only recently have become a symbol of evil, therefore concluding that any comparison to the Nauvoo pentagrams is nothing more than sensationalism.


History of the Pentagram
The five-pointed star is a simple design that has shown up in the artwork of several cultures. Deciding when the inverted star actually came to be known as a symbol of evil can be confusing. There is no general consensus among historians and even Wiccans and witches are not in full agreement. Some say this happened around the time of the Inquisition, while others say it could have been as late as the 19th century.

Mormon apologists are correct when they insist that Christians have used the pentagram or pentacle in their artwork. For instance, at one time the five-pointed star was commonly known as the "five wounds of Christ." However, the time frame in which Christians used this symbol becomes very important, and, as I will examine later in this article, tend to discount many LDS assertions. One thing we do know and that is the inverted pentagram has come to be associated with evil. Of that there is little doubt. Consider the following:

    "The pentagram with one point upwards repels evil, but a reversed pentagram, with two points upwards, is a symbol of the Devil and attracts sinister forces because it is upside down and because it stands for the number 2. It represents the great Goat of the witches' sabbath and the two upward points are the Goat's horn." (The Black Arts, Richard Cavendish (G.P.Putnam's Sons Publishing; 1967, p.265).

    "The spiritual knowledge of the Five-pointed Star is identical with its practical application. Let us beware that the figure is always well drawn, leaving no open space, through which the enemy can enter and disturb the harmony existing in the Pentagon. Let us keep the figure always upright, with the topmost triangle pointing to heaven, for it is the seat of Wisdom, and if the figure is reversed perversion and evil will be the result" (Magic - White and Black, Franz Hartmann, M.D., Newcastle Publishing, 1971,pp.290-291).

    "Inverted Pentacle. The sacred symbol of Witchcraft often is misunderstood because of associations of the inverted pentacle, with single point down and double points up, with the infernal. If an upright five-pointed star represents God or the deity, then the reverse typically represents Satan...In Europe, some Witches have used the inverted pentacle to denote the second-degree rank. This use has declined, because of the association of the symbol with Satanism" (The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Facts on File, Inc., 1989, p.266)

It is interesting to note that in the latter two quotes great care is expected regarding the direction of the points in order not to be associated with Satanism.


The LDS Perspective
I am not aware of any evidence that proves Smith was purposely attempting to use a symbol that society at the time would have viewed as evil, nor do I know of any LDS who feels such a symbol is meant to represent Satan either blatantly or esoterically. In fact, most Mormons have told me that the pentagrams used on LDS buildings symbolize the stars mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:41. Perhaps that works for a Mormon, but I personally don't imagine pentagrams when I read how "one star differs from another star in glory." But then again, that's just me.

BYU professor of history William Hamblin raises some good questions when he asks what the five-pointed star meant in the 1840s in the United States (e-mail received 9/10/02). This is important because we would assume that what this emblem meant at the time the Nauvoo temple was built would probably reflect how Joseph Smith would have seen it as well.

Mr. Hamblin mentions in the same email that the "the swastika is a symbol of Nazism in the mid-twentieth century, but is a symbol of the sun-god or of good luck in India and Tibet." This is true. In fact, for thousands of years the swastika, or the reversed sauvastika, shows up in artwork all over the world, including the artwork of American Indians. However, when Adolph Hitler chose to use this emblem as an insignia for his Nazi Party, things began to change very rapidly. This, I feel, is the whole issue regarding the LDS Church's use of the inverted pentagram on its buildings. Mormons may argue that Smith's pentagram was perfectly harmless in the 1840s, but there is no denying that many people in the world today associate it with evil. Show most people a picture of an inverted pentagram and I am sure that only Mormons would insist this is the star mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:41.

On his web site, Mr. Hamblin asks:

    "When was the inverted pentagram first explicitly said to be a symbol of Satan? As far as I have been able to ascertain, the originator of this symbol was Eliphas Levi (pseudonym for Alphonse-Louis Constant), a French defrocked Catholic priest, in his 'Dogme et rituel de la haute magic' published in 1855 and 1856 in France. (English translation Eliphas Levi, 'Transcendental magic, its doctrine and ritual.' trans. Arthur Edward Waite (New York, S. Weiser: 1970) illus. ii, p. 55.) He invented the idea in 1855." Mr. Hamblin goes on to say, "This book was published over a decade after the death of Joseph Smith. Now it is certainly true that since Eliphas Levi, the inverted pentagram has become a widespread symbol used by occultists and Satanists. But it is the height of folly to take the symbolic meaning of the pentagram today and apply in to the symbolic world of Joseph Smith in 1844 by claiming Joseph secretly used the pentagram as an occult and satanic symbol. No one in 1844 would have understood it as such."
    [fhss.byu.edu/history/faculty/hamblin/Esoterica/Pentacles.htm. Link is not longer valid]

Unless Mr. Hamblin can supply evidence that absolutely refutes much of what historians have told us about this symbol, I don't think his conclusion is defendable. Whereas it may be argued that this symbol was not meant by Smith to have "occult or satanic" meanings, to say "no one in 1844" would have understood it as such is much too broad an assertion.

Joseph Smith's fascination with folk-magic may supply some of the answers to this mystery. His use of seer stones, amulets, and magical parchments certainly do not help us draw a conclusion that Smith had no knowledge of what was known to be "occultic" in his time period. We do know that the word occult during Smith's time meant, "to conceal." Other definitions include invisible, secret, unknown, undiscovered, and undetected. The 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language states, "...the occult sciences are magic, necromancy, &c." The fact that the LDS temple ceremony (prior to 1990) on numerous occasions used the words secret and secrecy would tend to fit well within this definition.

Even if it could be proven that prior to the 1840s the inverted pentagram did not have any relationship to evil, it does not explain why the Mormons would continue to use it during a time period when, by Hamblin's own admission, it definitely does have that connotation. The LDS Church has used the inverted star to decorate other buildings that were completed long after 1855. This would include the famous Salt Lake temple, which was finished in 1893. Several inverted stars with an elongated point at the bottom can also be found in the woodwork in the Christus Rotunda in the North Visitor's Center on Temple Square that was built in 1963. The lined, inverted star within a circle can also be found in the upper left hand corner near the entrance of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art built in 1984. And let us not forget that the Nauvoo temple we see today on Mulholland Street was not finished in the 1840's -- it was completed in 2002.

In his article entitled Inverted Stars on LDS Temples (http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/Stars.pdf ), Mormon writer Matthew B. Brown also refers to Eliphas Levi as the one who gave the inverted pentagram an evil connotation. He states

    "Though Eliphas Levi is consistently credited with being the first person to associate the inverted five-pointed star with Satan, one commentator makes this important observation: "The inverted five-pointed star, with its single point downward, originally had no demonic meaning, but over the centuries it has mistakenly come to represent evil." (Source cited, Tom Ogden, Wizards and Sorcerers: From Abracadabra to Zoroaster, New York: Facts on File, 1997, 172).

How this mistakenly happened is subject to debate, but it seems to be clear that if it has come to represent evil "over the centuries," it is reasonable to assume that it did have had such a connotation when Joseph Smith was alive.

Several books on the subject, as well as several web sites sympathetic to Wicca and Witchcraft, insist that the occultic association of the inverted pentagram goes back much further than the 1850s.

    "...when the Black Mass was developed by disgruntled priests during the times of the Inquisition, the inverted cross with its vertical line moving upward, as their symbol, took on an evil connotation just the opposite of what simple geometric symbolism would suggest. Also, during the Inquisition, the Pagan Horned God, sometimes depicted as a goat, otherwise as a stag, was characterized by Inquisitors as Satan, in one of many deliberate, false and very often violent attempts to suppress the Old Religion. As if that was not bad enough, the Church of Satan, founded in America in 1966, chose the inverted pentagram as its symbol. Since then, Satanic fears and fantasies, have caused the inverted pentagram to be thoroughly suppressed in any use by Wiccans, especially in the USA. Here it is largely viewed as the antithesis of Wicca, just as the inverted cross is viewed within Christianity." (Starcrafts web site, retrieved 09/23/02, http://www.starcraftsob.com/craft/pentagram.shtml).

"During the long period of the Inquisition, there was much promulgation of lies and accusations in the 'interests' of orthodoxy and elimination of heresy. The Church lapsed into a long period of the very diabolism it sought to oppose. The pentagram was seen to symbolise a Goat's Head or the Devil in the form of Baphomet and it was Baphomet whom the Inquisition accused the Templars of worshipping" (Magickal Musings, retrieved 09/23/02, http://magickalmusings.net/wicca/topic10.php).

The Inquisition began under the reign of Pope Gregory IX in 1231 as a means for controlling and condemning those who were considered heretics. Coupled with the Spanish Inquisition, its effect lasted for hundreds of years. When exactly during this time period the inverted pentagram became a symbol of evil is difficult to determine. However, if the above information is even closely correct, the parallels drawn by both Brown and Hamblin regarding medieval cathedrals become irrelevant since they were designed or built prior to the time this symbol was commonly linked with evil. The same is true for the artwork they mention.

While I see this as only a minor consequence, on the web page that bears Mr. Brown's article is a picture of the "Great Star," a flag he says, "flew from 1837 to 1845." He notes "This flag displayed a large upright star in the center of the blue field with numerous smaller stars around it that were arranged so as to create one enormous inverted star." Not that this really matters, it is doubtful that any of these designs had the sanction of the US Government considering the fact that on April 4, 1818 Congress enacted a law that gave clear instructions for the design of the American flag. It read: "That the Flag of the United States be 13 horizontal stripes, alternate red and white, and that on the admission of every State into the Union, one star to be added on the Fourth of July next succeeding admission." Perhaps it should also be noted that there were also variations of the "Great Star" flag with stars arranged as an upright star as well. See:

    http://www.midcoast.com/~martucci/flags/us-hist6.html

    http://www.anyflag.com/history/greatsta.htm

Mr. Brown also correctly mentions that the prestigious Medal of Honor is an inverted five-pointed star. I concede that I don't have an answer for this, but then, I can't explain a lot of things our government does. I do know that it is probably not a wise thing to place too much trust in the government when it comes to things of a spiritual nature.


No Win Situation
When I heard that the LDS Church was going to rebuild the Nauvoo temple using its original design, I felt that they were going to find themselves between a rock and a hard place when it came to the pentagrams. If they kept them, they would be criticized for its now universal association to evil. If they changed them, it would be construed as somehow recognizing something was amiss. However, make no mistake about it, there is good reason to believe that Gordon Hinckley knew full well that this symbol would cause controversy. He could have easily avoided it, but he chose not to.

In his book entitled Window Maker, Charles W. Allen tells how he was commissioned by the LDS Church to build the leaded glass stars that encircle the outside of the Nauvoo temple. The original plan was to stick as closely as possible to the original design, so Allan commenced to put together stars that would be placed in an inverted fashion. However, Allan notes on page 182 of his book how on Tuesday, May 8 [2001] he was approached by three men from his church. He writes, " ...Ron Prince, Cory Karl and Keith Stepan were in the shop this morning to see how I was doing and to take a look at the colored glass in the star sash. They really liked what they saw. Keith asked me whether, if President Hinckley wanted to have the star pointed in an up position, that would be possible? I said yes, that all I had to do is to rotate the sash. He made a recorded note of that for his next meeting with President Hinckley. There is some concern by members of the temple committee that the upside down star would be interpreted as a Satanic symbol which some cults believe in today."

This paragraph is very telling since even some members of the temple committee were apprehensive as to how the stars would be interpreted. It also shows that President Hinckley had the final say as to which direction the stars would point. Since I have not read any statement as to why Hinckley chose to open his church to this criticism, I can only surmise that he probably wanted to remain true to the design Joseph Smith said he saw in a "vision" (History of the Church 6:196 -197). He apparently was unconcerned that this symbol's meaning had changed drastically since the time of Mormonism's founder. If Keith Stepan did in fact relate this concern to Hinckley then we know for sure his decision was not made ignorantly. For this reason I find it irrational for Mormon apologists to easily dismiss the concerns of Christians who find the inverted five-pointed stars troublesome.

I'd like to insist that I am not aware of any evidence that proves Smith was purposely trying to utilize what he thought was a Satanic symbol. Nor do I think that any Mormon sees it as such either. However, as I have pointed out earlier, this symbol has changed its meaning over the years. Just as any American who chooses to adorn his building with a swastika should expect to be criticized, so too should any religious group that chooses to utilize an inverted pentagram be second-guessed. If a Mormon wishes to belong to a church that purposely uses an emblem currently associated with evil, that is their choice. If a Mormon wishes to have their apologists defend such a symbol, that is their prerogative also. I personally don't see this as emblem to be proud of and to prove my point I don't expect to see pentagram necklaces being sold next to CTR rings.

What really puzzles me about this whole issue is how Mormons can defend the use of the pentagram but criticize the use of a cross as a Christian symbol. While recognizing that many who wear crosses see it as a "sincere and sacred gesture," tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding had no problem insulting millions of Christians when he went on to say, "To them the cross does not represent an emblem of torture but evidently carried the impression of sacrifice and suffering endured by the Son of God. However, to bow down before a cross or to look upon it as an emblem to be revered because of the fact that our Savior died upon a cross is repugnant to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (Answers to Gospel Questions 4:16). In light of such a comment, is it not hypocritical for Mormons to complain about Christians who find pentagrams on "sacred" buildings "repugnant"?


Conclusion
I personally feel that Hinckley's loyalty to Smith's original design is to blame for much of this controversy. We have no reason to believe he was compelled to remain completely true to the temple's original design given the fact that the upright angel atop the steeple is not the same as the horizontal weathervane/angel used in 1846.

If I may offer my suggestion, I think the best way this issue could have been avoided would have been for Hinckley to change the design and issue a press release that said something like, "Because the meaning of the inverted pentagram has changed drastically since the 1840's we felt that in order not to offend the many Christians who see this design in a negative light, we plan to place the stars in an upright position." In doing so he would have calmed the concerns of his temple committee and probably put to rest many undo criticisms.

 

Inplainsite Note: From a purely logical point of view one would assume that any symbol that may be called by names like The Goblin Cross, the Pentalpha, the Witch Foot, and the Devils Star, would have nothing to do with Christ and His church. The Mormons (who ironically call themselves “The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) however seem to have no problem in harmonizing the two most opposing forces in the Universe and incorporating Satan’s own symbolism into their “Church”. The Lord punished the Israelite kingdom time and again, finally utterly destroying them for embracing symbolism and idols of pagan gods. The question one is forced to ask is whether the rules have changed so drastically that the God who once destroyed a nation for practices He called an abomination, would embrace a “church” that does exactly the same thing? (Top)

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The All-Seeing Eye / The Eye of Horus

At the Salt Lake City Temple, over a window of the east central tower, is the All-seeing-Eye. The All-seeing-Eye is taken from the left eye, the "moon" or "sound" eye of Horus, a pagan god, the son of Osiris and Isis.

The ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus or wedjat ('Whole One') is a powerful symbol of protection, and is also considered to confer wisdom, health and prosperity. Horus was one of the most important Egyptian gods, a sun-god represented as a falcon or with the head of a hawk, whose right eye was the sun and whose left eye was the moon. He was the son of Osiris (god of the underworld) and Isis (mother goddess). Osiris was slain by his own brother, the evil Set (jackal-headed god of night), and Horus fought Set to avenge his father's death, winning the battle but losing an eye in the process. The eye was restored by the magic of the god of wisdom and the moon, Thoth, and this allowed Horus to grant Osiris rebirth in the underworld. The Eye of Horus symbol was used in funerary rites and decoration, as instructed in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. After 1200 BC, it was also used by the Egyptians to represent fractions, based on repeated division by two.

Both the right and the left eyes of Horus were depicted by the ancient Egyptians. The wounding of the left eye served as a mythical explanation of the phases of the moon, and its magical restoration meant that the left was usually the one used as an amulet and considered to be the 'Eye of Horus'. The right eye is sometimes referred to as the 'Eye of Ra', the sun god, though often little distinction is made between the two eyes.

Conclusion: The all-seeing eye of Horus! Connections to the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld, mystical creatures born of gods and reborn through magic…! And the Mormon Church would have its faithful believe that all these were inspired of God who states repeatedly in the Bible how He hates other gods, magic, paganism, witchcraft and communication with the dead. How then can the Mormon Church explain the obvious disagreement between their symbolism and the laws of the God they claim to follow? Quite simply they can’t. (Top)

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 The Temple Endowment Ceremony
Masonic Roots of Mormonism..

This is an excerpt from an article by Mark Hines, M.A.

Some Mormons do not realize that their temple Endowment ceremony was copied directly from rites in Masonry. The Mormon temple ceremony has no connection whatsoever with Christianity. On March 15, 1842, Joe Smith became an Entered Apprentice Mason, and the next day he became a Master Mason. The usual thirty-day wait between degrees was waived by Abraham Jonas, Grandmaster of the Illinois Lodge.

Joe Smith admitted to being a Mason in his History of the Church (vol. 4, p. 551).

Under the date of March 15, 1842 his entry is, "In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office" (History of the Church vol. 4, p. 551).

The very next day he noted becoming a Master Mason, "I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree" (Ibid., p. 552).

Dr. Reed Durham, who was president of the Mormon History Association, noted:

    "There is absolutely no question in my mind that the Mormon ceremony which came to be known as the Endowment, introduced by Joseph Smith to Mormon Masons, had an immediate inspiration from Masonry. It is also obvious that the Nauvoo Temple architecture was in part, at least, Masonically influenced. Indeed, it appears that there was an intentional attempt to utilize Masonic symbols and motifs. . . ." (Mormon Miscellaneous, pub. David C. Martin, October, 1975, pp. 11-16).

Less than two months after becoming a Master Mason, Joe Smith introduced the Endowment ceremony. For the Endowment ceremony, Joe Smith copied Masonic rites from a book called Freemasonry Exposed (1827) by William Morgan. When one compares the Nauvoo ceremony with the Masonic rite in Morgan's book, one easily sees the Masonic influence on the Mormon rite. The two rites resemble each other to the point of being identical at places. Morgan's account was an exposé of his local York Rite's "Craft" degrees.

One can easily see the similarities between Masonic and Mormon rites. The penalty for revealing the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, Smith copied from the penalty of disclosing the first degree (Entered Apprentice) of Freemasonry.

    Mormon text: "We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots" (W. M. Paden, Temple Mormonism, 1931, p. 18).

    Mason text: "I will . . . never reveal any part or parts, art or arts, point or points of the secret arts and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry . . . binding myself under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots. . . ." (William Morgan, Freemasonry Exposed, 1827, pp. 21-22)

Compare the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood with the Second Degree (Fellow Craft) oath:

    Mormon text: "We and each of us do covenant and promise that we will not reveal the secrets of this, the Second Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign, grip, or penalty. Should we do so, we agree to have our breasts cut open and our hearts and vitals torn from our bodies and given to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field" (Paden, p. 20)

    Mason text: "I . . . most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear . . . that I will not give the degree of a Fellow Craft Mason to any one of an inferior degree, nor to any other being in the known world . . . binding myself under no less penalty than to have my left breast torn open and my heart and vitals taken from thence . . . to become a prey to the wild beasts of the field, and vulture of the air. . . ." (Morgan, p. 52).

Besides similar penalties, there are also similar signs, arm positions, ear whisperings, passwords and handgrips. For instance, compare the "First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood" grip with the "First Degree" Masonic grip:

    Mormon text:
    Peter - "What is that?"
    Adam - "The first token of the Aaronic Priesthood."
    Peter - "Has it a name?"
    Adam - "It has."
    Peter - "Will you give it to me?"
    Adam - "I can not, for it is connected with my new name, but this is the sign" (Paden, p. 20).

    Mason text:
    "What is this?"
    Ans. "A grip."
    "A grip of what?"
    Ans. "The grip of an Entered Apprentice Mason."
    "Has it a name?"
    Ans. "It has."
    "Will you give it to me?"
    Ans. "I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it." (Morgan, pp. 23-24).

Joe Smith copied the Mormon Endowment ceremony directly from the Blue Lodge degrees of Freemasonry, and he borrowed Masonic symbolism, such as the Masonic markings on underwear Mormons wear. Over the right breast in Mormon underwear is a carpenter's square, and over the left, a mason's compass. The opening at the navel is symbolic of the evisceration penalty for disclosing Mormon secrets. Mormons are taught that their underwear, and in particular its Masonic markings, "will be a shield and a protection" to them from the power of the destroyer (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, vol. 2, p. 295).

When the underwear becomes worn, Mormons may use the garment as, say, a rag only if they cut out and burn the patches with the Masonic square and compass. The occult power is in the Masonic symbolism.

    Ashamed and embarrassed about Smith's copying Masonic rites for the Endowment ceremony, Mormon officials expunged the Five Points of Fellowship and the Penalties from the Endowment in 1990. (Top)

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