The Church and Freemasonry

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Philo Sofee
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

Post by Philo Sofee »

Don Bradley wrote:
Mon Jun 13, 2022 6:37 am
Philo Sofee wrote:
Thu Jun 09, 2022 3:46 am

It has been a loooong time! So GOOD to see you again brother! Yes, lets get together and chat with Don. I am very interested in seeing your timeline on the Book of Abraham materials. I have just finished a 20 video podcast series on it on Mormon Discussion Inc with my Live sessions as the Backyard Professor "Getting Clear on the Book of Abraham.
Yes, please! :D

Don
That would be a very good meet up! Lets try and schedule it somehow, somewhere, somewhen soon... my schedule is fairly flexible in evening on Mountain time... I think you and I are in the same time zone, not sure about Bro. George...
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George MillerPM
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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Philo Sofee wrote:
Sun Jun 12, 2022 2:57 am
I just read the massive and massively fascinating discussion you and Frater Literski and Frater Swick had on Common Consent several years back - https://bycommonconsent.com/2009/05/26/ ... nnections/

Absolutely delightful amounts of info!!! Man them were the good ole days. Did you ever get your book published? If so where? I would love to get it.
That was an enormously enjoyable conversation in which to participate. You asked, "Did you ever get your book published?" The short answer is nope. The more complex answer is that at the time that I planned to write and publish a book that Fraters Literski and Swick had given up publishing their book. My feeling, at the time, was that such a book NEEDED to be published; and if they were not going to do it, that I would need to step up and fill the whole. Since some of my findings are based on Joe Swick's pointing me in the right direction, I am holding off publishing until their book is published.
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George MillerPM
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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Philo Sofee wrote:
Mon Jun 13, 2022 12:50 pm
That would be a very good meet up! Lets try and schedule it somehow, somewhere, somewhen soon... my schedule is fairly flexible in evening on Mountain time... I think you and I are in the same time zone, not sure about Bro. George...
I am in the EST time zone. Sadly, evenings don't work well for me unless they end by 10:00 PM EST. Alternately, I can chat almost anytime on the weekends. Setup a time with Don and I will arrange my schedule accordingly.
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George MillerPM
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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latterdaytemplar wrote:
Wed Jun 08, 2022 6:44 pm
Unfortunately, it will probably be another day until I can respond to your latest large post; work has picked up and, shortly afterward, I'll be directing a degree practice.

Dear Brother LatterDayTemplar- In rereading your response to my previous comments, I noticed a couple of things about your responses. In some aspects we see the relevance of the Royal Arch and George Oliver to different degrees because of other research I have done with regards to the Mormon-Masonic connection. As opposed to directly responding to concerns you have raised, I think a foray into some of my other research might be helpful. I hope you don't mind if I share with you some of my unpublished work. After I have shared that information, I think you may reconsider your concerns.

However, before doing that, let me give a plug for a book that is coming out this year - Method Infinite. A number of aspects of your comments should be addressed in that book. It is currently available for preorder. The authors Cheryl Bruno, Joe Steve Swick III, and Nicholas Literski have been hard at work for many years to get it published. I had the pleasure of reading several of the chapters to make suggestions and give feedback before they were submitted to the editor. One of the groundbreaking finds in the book is that Joseph Smith was likely aware of George Oliver's publication Antiquities of Freemasonry (1823) and that contents informed his doctrinal works in the 1830s. In other words, Joseph's theology and scriptural works were being informed by Masonic works in the 1830s, long before he became a Freemason in the 1840s. What they have found is phenomenal, but it only scratches the surface of what Joseph Smith did with Antiquities of Freemasonry.

Let's back away from the discussion of the Mormon Temple ritual and instead turn to the Book of Moses and focus on Chapter 5 of the Book of Moses. Remember that Joseph Smith’s work on this began and ended in1830. A careful analysis suggests that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were using Antiquities of Freemasonry to revise the Book of Genesis and they were “reinserting” Masonic legends that they believed had been lost in antiquity “back” into the bible. Yes I just said that!

To understand what is happening, it helps to compare the relevant Genesis text with the matching Moses text.
”Comparison of Genesis 3:24-4:2 and Moses 4:31-517 wrote: GEN 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
GEN 4:1 And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the Lord.
GEN 4:2 And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

MOS 4:31 So I drove out the man, and I placed at the east of the Garden of Eden, cherubim and a flaming sword, which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life.
MOS 4:32 (And these are the words which I spake unto my servant Moses, and they are true even as I will; and I have spoken them unto you. See thou show them unto no man, until I command you, except to them that believe. Amen.)
MOS 5:1 And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.

MOS 5:15 And as many as believed in the Son, and repented of their sins, should be saved; and as many as believed not and repented not, should be damned; and the words went forth out of the mouth of God in a firm decree; wherefore they must be fulfilled.
MOS 5:16 And Adam and Eve, his wife, ceased not to call upon God. And Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bare Cain, and said: I have gotten a man from the Lord; wherefore he may not reject his words. But behold, Cain hearkened not, saying: Who is the Lord that I should know him?
MOS 5:17 And she again conceived and bare his brother Abel. And Abel hearkened unto the voice of the Lord. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
During the translation of this section of the Book of Moses, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery added one verse to transition between Genesis 3 and Genesis 4 with an additional 15 verse preface to Genesis 4:1. These additional verses add interesting preferatory details to the story of Adam and Eve from the time they were expelled from the Garden of Eden before the text discusses the birth of Cain and Abel. Below is a summary of the additional material.

① ADAM AND EVE TILLED THE EARTH AND HAD A LARGE EXTENDED FAMILY AT THE TIME OF CAIN’S CONSPIRACY TO MURDER ABEL. (Moses 5:1-3)
② ADAM AND EVE CALLED UPON “THE NAME OF THE LORD” AND FROM EDEN THEY WERE GIVEN THE LAW OF SACRIFICE. ADAM OFFERED THE “FIRSTLINGS OF THEIR FLOCK” AS A SACRIFICE. (Moses 5:4-5)
③ AN “ANGEL OF THE LORD” APPEARED UNTO ADAM AND EXPLAINED THE SECRET MEANING OF THESE SACRIFICES DONE IN THE NAME OF THE SON. (Moses 5:6-9)
④ ADAM PROPHESIED CONCERNING ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH AND MADE ALL THINGS KNOWN UNTO THEIR SONS AND DAUGHTERS. (Moses 5:10-12)
⑤ AND SATAN CAME AMONG THEM. MEN BECAME CARNAL, SENSUAL, AND DEVILISH. (Moses 5:13-15)

As mentioned before, George Oliver wrote Antiquities of Freemasonry as a retelling of portions of the Old Testament story which creatively reinterpreted and reinvented these stories with both the heroes and villains of the story as ancient Freemasons. Interestingly, if you carefully compare Moses 5:1-15 with George Oliver’s Antiquities of Freemasonry, there is substantial overlap. Joseph Smith and Cowdery were not plagiarizing Antiquities of Freemasonry, but instead were injecting the lost Masonic legends and esoteric religious wisdom which they likely believed had been lost from the Bible back into Mormon scripture in the vernacular of the King James English. In other words, they were restoring that which was lost.
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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① ADAM AND EVE TILLED THE EARTH AND HAD A LARGE EXTENDED FAMILY AT THE TIME OF CAIN’S CONSPIRACY TO MURDER ABEL. (Moses 5:1-3)
”Moses 5:1-3” wrote:MOS 5:1 And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to EAT HIS BREAD BY THE SWEAT OF HIS BROW, as I the Lord had commanded him. AND EVE, ALSO, HIS WIFE, DID LABOR WITH HIM.
MOS 5:2 And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him SONS AND DAUGHTERS, and they began to MULTIPLY AND TO REPLENISH THE EARTH.
MOS 5:3 And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and THEY ALSO BEGAT SONS AND DAUGHTERS.
Moses 5:1-3 begins with a discussion of Adam and Eve’s toil after they were cast out of the garden. It records that after God “had driven them out” that Adam “began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow.” The phrasing here of “eat his bread by the sweat of his brow” alludes to God’s curse of Adam in Genesis 3:17-19 that “in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” The curse in Genesis 3 is uttered by God; however, the fulfillment of this curse is not directly recorded in Genesis. The Book of Moses records the fulfillment of Adam’s curse by noting that “Adam began to till the earth” and to “have dominion over all the beasts of the field”.

Moses 5 then emphasizes that it was not only Adam who labored to till the earth, but that Eve also “did labor with him”. The inclusion of Eve in the labors of Adam is a slightly peculiar aside in that God cursed Eve in Genesis with the specific curse that God will “greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Genesis 3:16); and Eve is not included in Adam’s curse. However, Moses 5:1 emphasizes that Eve was subject to Adam’s curse in that she “did labor with him.”

When we look at the parallel passage in Antiquities of Freemasonry we find that it also records the fulfillment of Adam’s curse noting that, “The wants and calls of nature impelled our first parents to labour for their subsistence” and that they needed shelter “from heat and cold; from the scorching fervour of the meridian sun”. It also recorded that “they cultivated the barren ground, and with infinite fatigue procured their daily food.” Notice that similar to Moses 5, that Antiquities of Freemasonry recorded that both Adam and Eve toiled in the field as it is “our first parents” who labored and “they” cultivated so to procure “their” daily food.

Moses 5:2-3 continues by discussing how Adam’s family had grown immensely as Eve “bare unto him sons and daughters” and thus their family “began to multiply and replenish the earth.” Not only did Adam and Eve procreate, but that the “sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.” In this way, by the time the conspiracy to murder Abel was orchestrated by Cain, the Adam’s family had multiplied exceedingly upon the face of the earth.

While more subtle, the growth of Adam’s family is discussed in Antiquities of Freeamsonry. It notes that as Adam’s “progeny increased, he communicated to them the divine precepts and injunctions which were enfolded in that pure sublime science.” This passage records that Adam initiated others into the mysteries of Freemasonry at a time when his “progeny increased”. The growth of Adam’s family also is alluded to by recording, “When men became numerous upon the earth, the evil spirit of darkness was busily engaged in the corruption of their morals; and succeeded in working up the passions in the heart of Cain, until he apostatized from Masonry, and slew his brother Abel.” Thus by the time that Cain’s conspiracy to kill Abel was orchestrated “men became numerous upon the earth”.
”Antiquities of Freemasonry” wrote:The wants and calls of nature IMPELLED OUR FIRST PARENTS TO LABOUR FOR THEIR SUBSISTENCE; and the inclemency of the seasons called for habitations to shelter them from heat and cold; from the scorching fervour of the meridian sun, and from the overwhelming influence of midnight damps, arising from mists and vapours with which the earth was watered. HERE THEY CULTIVATED THE BARREN GROUND, AND WITH INFINITE FATIGUE PROCURED THEIR DAILY FOOD. Cheered by the divine goodness, however, and penetrated with gratitude and love to the great Father of Mercy, they never again deviated from the path of purity and devotion. THE PRINCIPLES OF SPECULATIVE MASONRY, WHICH HAD BEEN COMMUNICATED TO ADAM IN PARADISE, WERE NEVER FORSAKEN after having tasted the bitter fruit of the forbidden tree; and AS HIS PROGENY INCREASED, HE COMMUNICATE TO THEM THE DIVINE PRECEPTS AND INJUNCTIONS WHICH WERE ENFOLDED IN THAT PURE AND SUBLIME SCIENCE. When MEN BECAME NUMEROUS UPON THE EARTH, the evil spirit of darkness was very busily engaged in the corruption of their morals; and succeeded in working up the malevolent passions in the heart of Cain, until he apostatized from Masonry, and slew his brother Abel. (AoF, 45-6)
Moses 5:1-3 echoes Antiquities of Freemasonry in this passage in three minor aspects. First, both productions record the fulfillment of God’s curse of Adam by discussing the exhaustive labor performed by Adam after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Second, both passages record that both Adam and Eve performed the labor. Third, both discuss how, by the time that Cain conspired to murder Abel, that Adam’s damily had become numerous upon the earth. On this third point both George Oliver and Joseph Smith may have been influenced by another source- Adam Clarke. In his discussion of Genesis 4:15, “And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him”, the Methodist theologian noted the following.
”Adam Clarke Commentary on the Holy Bible (1811)” wrote: Most people who read this account wonder why Cain should dread being killed, why Cain should dread being killed, when it does not appear to them that were any inhabitants on Earth at that time besides himself and his parents. To correct this mistake, let it be observed that the death of Abel took place in the one hundred and twenty-eighth or one hundred and twenty-ninth year of the world. Now, “Supposing Adam and Eve to have no other sons than Cain and Abel in the year of the world one hundred and twenty-eight, yet as they had daughters married to these sons, their descendants would make a considerable figure on the earth. Supposing them to have been married in the nineteenth year of the world, they might easily have had each eight children, some males and some females, in the twenty-fifth year. … If to these, we add the other children descended from Cain and Abel, their children, and their children’s children, we shall have in the aforesaid one hundred and twenty-eight years, four hundred and twenty-one thousand one hundred and sixty-four men capable of generation; without reckoning the women either old or young, or such as are under the age of seventeen. …

But this calculation may be disputed, because there is no evidence that the antediluvian Patriarchs began to have children before they were sixty-five years of age. Now, supposing that Adam at one hundred and thirty years of age had one hundred and thirty children, which is quite possible, and each of these a child at sixty-five years of age, and one in each successive year, the whole, in the one hundred and thirtieth year of the world, would amount to one thousand two hundred and nineteen persons; a number sufficient to found several villages, and to excite the apprehensions under which Cain appeared at this time to labour.” (Adam Clarke Commentary on the Bible -1811)
NOTE- If Mormon-Masonic scholarship is something you are interesting in the please pre-order METHOD INFINITE from Greg Kofford Books HERE
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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I pre-ordered the book, THANK YOU for the heads up George!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!! I am beyond thrilled! I am gonna do video reviews and analysis of this for years to come once I get it under my belt. Joe and I spent many, many, MANY hours talking about this subject.
Tomorrows Backyard Professor Live I will announce this as well, as I am continuing the saga of looking into the actual basis of the Mormon Endowment, which, on the historical note, is Freemasonry... and the audience appears to really REALLY want more info so I be givin it to 'em! :D
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George MillerPM
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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Philo Sofee wrote:
Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:15 pm
I pre-ordered the book, THANK YOU for the heads up George!!!! WOO HOO!!!!!!!!! I am beyond thrilled! I am gonna do video reviews and analysis of this for years to come once I get it under my belt. Joe and I spent many, many, MANY hours talking about this subject.
Tomorrows Backyard Professor Live I will announce this as well, as I am continuing the saga of looking into the actual basis of the Mormon Endowment, which, on the historical note, is Freemasonry... and the audience appears to really REALLY want more info so I be givin it to ''em! :D
Hey Brother Philo Sofee- I am about 75% done with your presentation given last week which can be found HERE. Choosing Reed Durham's letter as a branching out point for this discussion was a good choice. Overall, I thought your overarching view of the material was spot on. I do have a few points on which I would quibble. Now part of these minor problems may be that your are just presenting Durham's material and there are points on which you too might take issue.

1. You mentioned that Brigham Young was a freemason in the early days of the church. While I know a few authors have suggested this, I think the available evidence, however, suggests that he did not become a freemason until the Nauvoo period. Brigham Young submitted an application to receive the degrees and become a freemason to the lodge in Nauvoo. His application to receive the degrees in Nauvoo is inconsistent with him having received them earlier. If you evidence to the contrary, I would love to here it.

2. Despite what other misinformed historians have suggested, John C. Bennet had little to do with bringing Freemasonry to Nauvoo except that as the lodge secretary he was responsible for penning the lodge correspondence with regards to this issue.

3. The common narrative of why Joseph Smith was made a Freemason "on sight" as a favor for political reasons by Grand Master Jonas is probably misinformed. The real reason Joseph Smith was made a Freemason "on sight" is much more complicated; and I would prefer to share that Masonic secret with you one-on-one.

4. Some have suggested that the Nauvoo lodge got in trouble with the Grand Lodge because of Joseph Smith's involving women in Masonic ceremonies. There is NO evidence of this in the records of the Grand Lodge. Other reasons are carefully laid out and they do NOT include this charge. The characterization that there were NOT female Masonic degrees in America is simply false. Since female Masonic degrees existed in Illinois at this time, this would not have been a charge on which the Grand Lodge would have fretted.

5. You mentioned, from Durham, the idea that there is a Council of 50 in the Freemasonry. I have not spent very much time on this, but have you tracked down from where Durham is getting this idea? I have not been able to track it down. I know that Nick and Joe agreed with Durham, but I never found out where they or Durham got this idea.

For what its worth, I have some REALLY great stuff coming up that should shake things up a bit. Stay tuned! by the way if anyone else wants to jump into the discussion they are more than welcome to contribute.
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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I am simply responding to let you know yes I was taking Homer's view for now as a starting point. There is always refinements, and I am always glad to make them of my own errors, which, realistically, will be many, which however, is a happy thing! I so look forward to helping make this thread the bomb! Much info coming down the pipeline.
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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George MillerPM wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 3:52 pm
However, before doing that, let me give a plug for a book that is coming out this year - Method Infinite.
I am aware of Method Infinite; I've been waiting for it for years. I am a bit wary of it; there have been a few times that I have come across a small handful of claims here and there that Cheryl has made on Facebook and elsewhere with which I've very much disagreed (though she has always been very friendly in our disagreements together). But I am still excited for it and look forward to having a full copy of it.

I am aware that some of the revisions that led to the JST (including the Book of Moses) have overlap with Clarke's Commentary, but I had not heard about any concerning Oliver's Antiquities. I'll certainly have to study out the overlaps that you've pointed out and demonstrated here.
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Re: The Church and Freemasonry

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latterdaytemplar wrote:
Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:23 am
I am aware of Method Infinite; I've been waiting for it for years. I am a bit wary of it; there have been a few times that I have come across a small handful of claims here and there that Cheryl has made on Facebook and elsewhere with which I've very much disagreed (though she has always been very friendly in our disagreements together). But I am still excited for it and look forward to having a full copy of it.
Cheryl Bruno is indeed "very friendly" and an amazing researcher. She also writes from the place of a believer while also being an honest historian. She always backs up her claims with data. You mentioned that that there are claims with which you have "very much disagreed". I am interested what are some of these claims with which you have disagreed?

One of the lessons I have taken from Masonry is that we all meet on the level. As such I am more than happy to hear any and all historians out on the level. A second lesson I have taken from the craft is that men can hear the same data and come to consummately different conclusions based on how they weigh each piece of data. In the end; however, it is our duty as both Mormon and Masons to circumscribe all truth in one great round so that all the data reaches a cohesive story.

You also mentioned that your are "wary of" Method Infinite. I am a bit surprised by this. Joe Swick in both a extremely knowledgeable Mormon and Mason. I conversed for years with him on the old Mormon Mystics board. Time and time again his wisdom guided me through the complexities of Mormon doctrine and history. I was amazed at his depth of knowledge. He is a true believer in Joseph Smith and his mission. Nick Literski's contribution to the book largely comes from the research he did while he lived in Nauvoo and was the sole Mormon book dealer in the city. While Nick later parted ways with Mormonism, I interacted with him in a Mormon-Mysticism seminar about a year ago. He still believes to this day that Joseph Smith, at times, touched the divine. As for Cheryl Bruno, she is the main author of the book. Without her hard work and actually putting pen to paper to get the ideas on paper, this book would never have happened. She is, by far, the main author. As I mentioned, she is a true believer. While I can understand a wariness, I can assure you that that book is designed to give a fair hearing of Mormon-Masonic connection and not a single author wishes to besmirch Joseph Smith.
latterdaytemplar wrote:
Mon Jun 20, 2022 12:23 am
I am aware that some of the revisions that led to the JST (including the Book of Moses) have overlap with Clarke's Commentary, but I had not heard about any concerning Oliver's Antiquities. I'll certainly have to study out the overlaps that you've pointed out and demonstrated here.
As mentioned above, we meet here on the level and I would welcome your feedback and criticisms. What I have to present is a bit lengthy, and it is NEW material never before presented. I have been sitting on this information for nearly a decade out of respect for Joe Swick who originally suggested that I check out Antiquities of Freemasonry. Now that the book is in press, I finally feel free to share some of this information especially if it get anybody to buy the book.
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