The Church and Freemasonry

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latterdaytemplar
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The Church and Freemasonry

Post by latterdaytemplar »

Hello there!

Doctor Scratch encouraged me to make this post here, so here I am.

I am a faithful member of the Church. I am also a Freemason. I would be happy to answer questions concerning the relationship between the two, so long as those questions are within the parameters of this Terrestrial Forum; I would also be happy to answer questions that are about Masonry in general.

Please keep in mind that, while answering any such questions, I will be remaining respectful both of the sacred nature of the Church's temple endowment and the obligations of non-disclosure that I have taken as a Mason. If answering a particular question would violate any of these, then I'll be straightforward in letting you know why I cannot answer them.
"… Behold, we will end the conflict."
—Captain Moroni (Alma 44:10)

Whatever conflicts that you come across in life, they can be beaten. Adopt Captain Moroni's attitude: be of the disposition to end the conflict, and then act on that disposition.
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latterdaytemplar
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by latterdaytemplar »

Also, please be patient with me if I take a while to respond; sometimes I am away from the internet. :)
"… Behold, we will end the conflict."
—Captain Moroni (Alma 44:10)

Whatever conflicts that you come across in life, they can be beaten. Adopt Captain Moroni's attitude: be of the disposition to end the conflict, and then act on that disposition.
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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Was free masonry originally designed to keep trade secrets within a workers’ cooperative, hence the oaths and penalties?

- Doc
1. Speech is aggression.
2. Every utterance has a winner or a loser.
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4. Lying is performative.
5. Stupidity is power.
Fence Sitter
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by Fence Sitter »

When and how do you believe Masonry began?
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latterdaytemplar
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by latterdaytemplar »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Mon Jun 06, 2022 10:39 pm
Was free masonry originally designed to keep trade secrets within a workers’ cooperative, hence the oaths and penalties?

- Doc
Hi Doc. Great question.

For context and clarity, I want to make a distinction between two different groups: Operative Masons (those who actually built cathedrals, castles, etc.) and Speculative Masons (the philosophical Fraternity of which I am a part). When Gothic architecture (in which Operative Masons specialized) started to go out-of-style towards the end of the 1500s, they started to look for reasons to stay together; from this dilemma was born Speculative Masonry, where they used their tools and techniques as symbols for moral self-improvement, personal integrity, and service to the community.

Now, to answer your question concerning each group:

Operative Masons
Having started in medieval times, many members of stonemason guilds were illiterate. This posed a problem for two reasons:
  • Stonemasons, by the nature of their work, would often travel to another country for their next project;[1] after all, one city or town did not usually call for more than one cathedral, castle, etc.
  • In order to prove their proficiency to show that they were skilled enough to work at a site and to show how much money they deserved for their time/expertise, they needed some form of credential.
Written credentials would be useless due to illiteracy being common. So they came up with certain, secret physical gestures and secret words (to be revealed in a certain manner between both the credential-checker and the credentialed) to be used. Different sets of such gestures and words were used for each degree of proficiency: Apprentice, Journeyman (sometimes also called Fellow of the Craft), and Master. These (along with various techniques related to stonemasonry) were trade secrets and helped credential-checkers (probably foremen) to weed out less-skilled or unskilled imposters trying to make a quick buck from those who were properly trained and skilled in the craft of stonemasonry. Operative Masons would have obligated themselves not to reveal these things. I am not aware, however, of any penalties being a part of Operative Masonry.

Speculative Masons
As Operative Masonry died out and Speculative Masonry came to be (the late 1500s),[2] various traditions were kept, including the concepts of physical gestures and words as credentials; except now these were used to prove what degree of philosophical knowledge/tools had been conferred onto the credentialed person.

Expanding on the theme of stonemasonry as a representative of morality, integrity, and service, and being mostly of Protestant denominations, these speculative Masons adopted the Biblical setting of the construction of King Solomon's Temple as an allegory for teaching these values. Also adopted from the Bible (and from European culture; for example, being drawn and quartered for going AWOL from the British military) was the concept of penalties; however, in Masonry, these were only ever symbolic, being a measure of how much they valued being honest men of their word.[3] They also adopted the concept of obligations, promising not to reveal certain things concerning the ritualistic workings of the Craft (although I don't know if I would refer to them as "trade secrets" and I don't think that I've heard anyone else do so; but that's just me, some in other parts of the world very well might).

I hope that this answers your question. If I need to clarify anything, please do not hesitate to ask me.
____
[1] “Chapter 2: From Cathedrals to Lodge Rooms: A History of the Freemasons.” Freemasons for Dummies, by Christopher Hodapp, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2013, p. 23, https://smile.amazon.com/Freemasons-for-Dummies-2nd-Edition/dp/B00NU69GHY/.

[2] Wallace-James, R. E. The Book of the Lodge of Aitchison's Haven, 1598-1764. Lodge St John Kilwinning, No. 57, 1998, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, https://freemasonry.bcy.ca/aqc/aitchison-lodge.pdf.

[3] Cole, Brandon. “What Are Masonic Penalties? (Symbolic vs Literal).” MasonicFind, 26 Jan. 2021, https://masonicfind.com/what-are-masonic-penalties.

____
EDIT: Hyperlinks in sources fixed.
Last edited by latterdaytemplar on Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"… Behold, we will end the conflict."
—Captain Moroni (Alma 44:10)

Whatever conflicts that you come across in life, they can be beaten. Adopt Captain Moroni's attitude: be of the disposition to end the conflict, and then act on that disposition.
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latterdaytemplar
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by latterdaytemplar »

Fence Sitter wrote:
Mon Jun 06, 2022 11:18 pm
When and how do you believe Masonry began?
This depends if you are referring to Operative stonemason guilds (literal builders of cathedrals, castles, etc. from which Speculative Masonry originated) or to Speculative Masonry (the philosophical Fraternity of which I am a part).

Operative Masonry
I believe that Operative stonemasonry guilds from which Speculative Masonry originates developed sometime during medieval Europe, perhaps somewhere around A.D. 1200. Although stonemasonry in general is clearly older than this by millennia, I don't believe that the guilds/organizations that developed in medieval Europe had any literal or direct tie to any of the more ancient groups of history.

Speculative Masonry
Historically, the Fraternity traces back to A.D. 1598 Edinburgh, Scotland.[1] I tend to accept this as the time that Speculative Masonry started. There are some who believe that it traces back to the A.D. 900s due to masons being mentioned in the Regius Poem of the Halliwell Manuscript;[2][3] however, I discount this because it could just as easily (and more likely, in my opinion) referred to Operative Masons rather than to Speculative Masons.

As Gothic architecture began to go out-of-style towards the end of the 1500s, Operative Masons looked for ways to continue to meet together, and eventually turned to using their tools/techniques as symbols for philosophy and to teach moral values. Modern Freemasonry comes from this.

____
[1] Wallace-James, R. E. The Book of the Lodge of Aitchison's Haven, 1598-1764. Lodge St John Kilwinning, No. 57, 1998, Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, freemasonry.bcy.ca/aqc/aitchison-lodge.pdf.

[2] “The Halliwell Manuscript.” Index of Essays and Papers, Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon A.F. & A.M., 2 Feb. 2014, www.freemasonry.bcy.ca/texts/regius.html.

[3] “Regius Poem (Halliwell MS).” The Order, Wasatch Lodge #1 Free & Accepted Masons, www.wasatchlodge.org/publish/regius-poem/.

____
EDIT: Added the last two sentences under the section for Speculative Masonry; fixed a cited work.
"… Behold, we will end the conflict."
—Captain Moroni (Alma 44:10)

Whatever conflicts that you come across in life, they can be beaten. Adopt Captain Moroni's attitude: be of the disposition to end the conflict, and then act on that disposition.
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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Interesting! Thx for taking the time to flesh that out a bit. I’m getting 404 errors on your non-Amazon links, but I don’t know if that’s on my end or not.

- Doc
1. Speech is aggression.
2. Every utterance has a winner or a loser.
3. Curiosity is feigned.
4. Lying is performative.
5. Stupidity is power.
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latterdaytemplar
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by latterdaytemplar »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Tue Jun 07, 2022 12:02 am
Interesting! Thx for taking the time to flesh that out a bit. I’m getting 404 errors on your non-Amazon links, but I don’t know if that’s on my end or not.

- Doc
No worries at all!

As for the links, I input them incorrectly (still getting used to phpBB). As of right now (but not earlier when I posted them), the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon is going pretty slowly for me; if it is for you too, then I would recommend coming back to those links later.

Sorry about the trouble.
"… Behold, we will end the conflict."
—Captain Moroni (Alma 44:10)

Whatever conflicts that you come across in life, they can be beaten. Adopt Captain Moroni's attitude: be of the disposition to end the conflict, and then act on that disposition.
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by Fence Sitter »

Thanks!

Do you believe there is any relationship/connection between Masonry and the LDS temple ceremony?
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by drumdude »

Do you have any opinion on the significant number of changes that have been made to the Temple ceremonies?
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