ANSWERS: 4
  • The modern temples follow many features of Solomon's Temple. The Masons say that their organization was formed during the construction of Solomon's Temple. Similarities can thus be assumed to go back to that sacred site by the two different paths.
  • Symbolism in Masonry is used the teach things of an "esoteric" nature. To a learned person the symbols are more than just decorations, they have a meaning. However symbols and their meanings has changed over human history. Take for example the controversial "Pentacle". Once it was a "good" symbol, now to some, it's an "evil" symbol, the meaning is in the I of the educated an initiated beholder. Some of Smith's family and closet associates were during this time long time Masonic members, so to incorporate Masonry into the church that Joseph Smith was restoring was only logical at the time. Masonic sybolism was a way to outwardly show what the Temple he was inspired to bulid was to be for. It set apart the structure for only "special" purposes. Just as a "cross" on a buliding makes it a "christian" oriented structure. The next questions that should be asked is; do the symbols mean something appropiate to the useage of the structure, what are their origins, and are they really necessary to make the structure "special".
  • By the 1840s, many Mormon leaders in Nauvoo, including Smith and apostles Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, became Masons and organized a lodge there under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Illinois. It wasn't long before nearly every male member of the church in the area had joined. At the same time, Smith introduced LDS temple rituals that included secret handshakes, signs and symbols like the all-seeing eye, the compass and square (tools of the mason's trade) and the sun, moon and stars that echoed Masonry.
  • It's not just Masonic, but a part of American culture. Our Money has similar symbolism, and it was very common in the 1800s.

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