Zero Links to Solomon’s Temple

Zero Links to Solomon's Temple

Freemasonry has zero links to Solomon’s Temple. Although more a Church folklore, with origins from comments made by early Mormon Masons such as Heber C. Kimball, than being Church doctrine, it’s a myth that the endowment ceremony has its origins from Solomon’s Temple or that Freemasonry passed down parts of the endowment over the centuries from Solomon’s Temple. Solomon’s Temple was all about animal sacrifice. Freemasonry has its origins to stone tradesmen in medieval Europe – not in 950 BC Jerusalem.

FairMormon admits these facts:

Unfortunately, there is no historical evidence to support a continuous functioning line from Solomon’s Temple to the present. We know what went on in Solomon’s Temple; it’s the ritualistic slaughter of animals.

Masonry, while claiming a root in antiquity, can only be reliably traced to medieval stone tradesmen.

It is clear that Freemasonry and its traditions played a role in the development of the endowment ritual...

If there’s no connection to Solomon’s Temple, what’s so divine about a man-made medieval European secret fraternity and its rituals?

CES Letter, Page 107

Despite Freemasonry’s relatively late origins, many of its teachings and ritual components draw on ideas from the Bible, early Christianity, and other ancient sources.

Latter-day Saints understand that the primary intent of temple ordinances is to teach and bless the participants, not to provide precise matches to texts, symbols, and modes of presentation from other times. Because this is so, we would expect to find Joseph Smith’s restored ritual deviating at times from the wording and symbolism of ancient ordinances in the interest of clarity and relevance to modern disciples.

As Masonry expanded, the movement was influenced by the ideals of enlightenment philosophy. Christians with antiquarian interests incorporated and developed selected aspects of ancient rituals as early Freemasonry took shape. Though Old Testament themes are pervasive in Masonic ritual, it seems clear that they come by way of Christian tradition. 

Much more went on in Solomon’s temple than animal sacrifice. For example, the overall structure and many of the details of kingship rites in Israel can be found in the Bible, and analogous rituals were practiced elsewhere in the ancient Near East and in Egyptian tradition. Moreover, Jewish sources allude to relevant aspects of Solomon’s Temple that were no longer present in the Second Temple.

Modern revelation teaches that ancient prophets and kings such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Solomon, and Moses received ordinances of exaltation relating to the royal priesthood in their day (D&C 132:37-39).

In times of apostasy, authorization to perform temple ordinances associated with the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood was almost totally withdrawn from the earth. Some later prophets and kings, however, did continue to receive the highest ordinances of the Melchizedek priesthood in later Old Testament times (J. F. Smith, Jr., Answers, 1:117–118, 2:45; J. Smith, Jr., Teachings, 5 January 1841, p. 181). 

Additional Resources:

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M. “Freemasonry and the Origins of Modern Temple Ordinances.” Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture 15 (2015): 159-237.

Ehat, Andrew, “Joseph Smith’s Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the Mormon Succession Question.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1982.

FAIRMORMON: Relationship between Freemasonry and Temple Ceremonies

Questions About the LDS Temple Ceremony and Masonry by Jeff Lindsay

The Message and the Messenger: Latter-day Saints and Freemasonry (2005) by Greg Kearney

Ask the Apologist: Similarities between Masonic and Mormon temple ritual

Secret Combinations and Flaxen Cords: Anti-Masonic Rhetoric and the Book of Mormon –  by Paul Mouritsen

4th Watch 9: Secret Combinations – The Masonic Mormon Connection, Greg Kearney

Secret Combinations — The Masonic Mormon Connection

Ehat, Andrew F. “‘They might have known that he was not a fallen prophet’ — The Nauvoo journal of Joseph Fielding.” BYU Studies 19, no. 2 (Winter 1979): 133-66.

Jeffrey Bradshaw on “The Ark and the Tent: Temple Symbolism in the Story of Noah”

Jeffrey Bradshaw on “The Ark and the Tent: Temple Symbolism in the Story of Noah”

Brown, Matthew B., and Jeffrey M. Bradshaw. The Throne of God. American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, in preparation.

Nibley, Hugh W. 1975. The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment. 2nd ed. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 2005.

Smith, Joseph Fielding, Jr. 1957-1966. Answers to Gospel Questions. 5 vols. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1979.

Smith, Joseph, Jr. 1938. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book, 1969.

Van Pelt, Robert Jan. "Freemasonry and Judaism." In Handbook of Freemasonry, edited by Henrik Bogdan and Jan A. M. Snoek. Brill Handbooks on Contemporary Religion 8, eds. Carole M. Cusack and James R. Lewis, 188-232. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2014.