Reviews of Freemasonry and the Origins of Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances
- “What is the Relationship Between Freemasonry and the Temple Endowment?” by Kurt Manwaring, From the Desk, July 26, 2022.
- “Do the Temple Rituals Resemble Freemasonry?” by Terry L. Hutchinson, Meridian Magazine, July 29, 2022.
The topic of this book has been of interest to me for decades. Over the years, many researchers have asked me about similarities between the endowment introduced by the Prophet Joseph Smith and Freemasonry, often pointing out similarities to me. I explain that Joseph adopted and adapted, the then-popular pedagogical system of Freemasonry to teach eternal principles and that therefore they should look for the differences between the endowment and Masonic rituals if they want to find the essence of what the Lord revealed to Joseph.
What I have enjoyed about Jeff’s work over the years is that, unlike many students of this topic, he has not confused form and substance. His work has tracked the substance of the endowment ceremony to ancient sources and shown that the Lord revealed much of it to Joseph before he reached Nauvoo and joined a Masonic lodge established there. I trust that reading this book will heighten your intellectual comprehension and deepen your spiritual understanding.
— Richard E. Turley, Jr., former Assistant Church Historian
From the all-seeing eye on the Salt Lake temple to the turbaned angel and compass and square on the Nauvoo temple’s weathervane, and from ritualized hosanna shouts to traversing the veil, Latter-day Saint temples share elements in common with Freemasonry. Why? And how does this square with modern temple worship as a restoration of ancient temple practices? Jeffrey M. Bradshaw’s closely argued and beautifully illustrated Freemasonry and the Origins of Latter-day Saint Temple Ordinances illuminates these mysteries, beginning with a concise history and appreciative explanation of Freemasonry.
With intellectual rigor and spiritual insight, the author compares Latter-day Saint temple worship both to the modern Masonry amidst which it emerged and to the ancient Near-Eastern and early Christian rituals it restores. He presents Joseph Smith’s revelation of ancient temple ritual and his encounters with Freemasonry not as competing accounts of the origin of Latter-day Saint temple worship but as aspects of one and the same divinely guided process. I can’t imagine anyone coming away from this book without deeper insight into the origin and meaning of temple worship.
— Don Bradley, historian, author The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories
While Freemasonry certainly isn’t a necessary prerequisite to understanding the doctrines learned within the Holy Temple, my membership as a Mason has given me a quicker comprehension of the magnificence of eternal principles. I am grateful for the blessings of the Temple and for the knowledge that those fundamentals I learned years ago have an even more significant impact when viewed with an eternal perspective.
— From the Foreword by William S. Kranz, longtime Freemason