Some Mormons do not realize that their temple Endowment ceremony was copied directly from occultic 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.Read More: Masonic Roots of Mormonism
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). Here is the remainder of Dr. Reed Durham's address.
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.