Thursday, June 4, 2009

Mormon and Mason

The other day I wrote this post on my wife's blog. I really enjoyed discussing my feelings towards being a Mason and a Mormon. It was after writing this post that I decided to branch out this blog. Therefore I have begun a new blog, Joseph's Lodge, the intent of this blog is to discuss my experience as a Mormon Mason. I will continue to post on this blog as well.

As many of you know, I am a member of an ancient and honourable institution, I am a Freemason. Recently, I joined a motorcycling club that requires that its membership be Master Masons. This club is known as the Freemasons Riding Club. Of course, I placed the back patch on my jacket and I am quite proud of having it on my jacket. While on a ride with a group of friend, one saw the patch and said, "You know, Mormons can't be Masons." Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to know if this person is joking or not.
This was definitely not the first time a comment like this has been made, nor will it be the last. Yet, this time it made me ask myself, why can't a Mormon be a Mason? Why is there such a conflict of misunderstanding between these two groups.
First, in the State of Utah, there has not been a restriction on Mormons becoming Masons since 1984 when the Grand Lodge of Utah lifted its ban and allowed Mormons to become Masons.
Second, there has never been an official ban of Mormon Masons by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It's stance has been more of an attitude of neutrality. I have always viewed the opinion of the L.D.S. Faith as; 1) The first place of Fraternity and Fellowship should be the Elder's Quorum, 2) A member of the Church should dedicate their time to their Church callings, activities, etc., and 3) A member of the Church should not be a member, or sympathize, with any organization that draws their attention away from the Divinity of Christ and His sacred gospel. For me, Masonry does not hinder my performance or attitude in regard to these three points.
In fact, Masonry has strengthened my resolve and emboldened my confidence of being a Saint and Disciple of Jesus Christ. Today, we live in a world that contends for our time, talent, and energies, and this world is becoming more decadent every generation, it is nice to find an organization that stresses high moral character and the purpose of faith in one's life.
I must ask myself, would their be so much concern for my eternal soul if I was to become a member of the Lion's Club or Rotary and dedicated as much time to these organizations as I did my Masonic Lodge? Probably not!
In closing, I cannot find anything bad in an organization that has compelled such men as Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Willard Richards, Newell K. Whitney, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Parley P. Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Lorenzo Snow, and Orrin Porter Rockwell just to name a few. And I am reminded of the 13th Article of Faith:

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing
good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We
believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to
be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good
report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
I believe that Masonry is virtuous, lovely, and of good report.


Zach Edwardson said...

As a fellow Mormon-Mason, who was just recently baptized by a fellow Mormon-Mason, it is a unique experience.

Anonymous said...

there is no hard and fast rule on being a mason it is a personal choice but with that in mind it is obvious that you are not an endowed member when this happens you may rethink your position as a mason but if you like being a mason there is nothing really in it so theres no damage.

Alan L said...

Obviously ANONYMOUS isn't a Mason. Otherwise, he wouldn't have said that.

There's much to be said about the fact that Joseph Smith, Jr and Sr. as well as Brigham Young were all endowed LDS as well as Masons.

Alan L said...

Also, Joseph Smith Sr. was a York Rite Mason too.

David Housand said...

I feel really sad for Mormons that believe as Anonymous, who have not the ability to be on the level with all of mankind, and feel that they are automatically exhalted because they are endowed. (The arrogance shows)and the reason I care not associate my family with such as it is prevalent here in my area.