Need Proof that Joseph Smith was a Mason

by ILoveTTATT2 11 Replies latest jw friends

  • ILoveTTATT2

    Many sites claim that C.T. Russell was a Mason.

    Barbara Anderson and James Penton, respected WT historians, claim that he was not.

    According to

    Throughout history some members of the fraternity have made no secret of their involvement, while others have not made their membership public. In some cases, membership can only be proven by searching through the fraternity's records. Such records are most often kept at the individual lodge level, and may be lost due to fire, flood, deterioration, or simple carelessness. Grand Lodge governance may have shifted or reorganized, resulting in further loss of records on the member or the name, number, location or even existence of the lodge in question. In areas of the world where Masonry has been suppressed by governments, records of entire grand lodges have been destroyed. Because of this, masonic membership can sometimes be difficult to verify.

    Barbara already checked the records and there is no record of C.T. Russell:

    Yet over the years critics of Russell and Jehovah’s Witnesses have continued to use Ross’s fallacious statement plus a number of other charges, two of which should be regarded as utter nonsense. The first is that Russell was into occult practices, and the second is that he was a Freemason. [127] The first claim is based almost entirely on his use of certain symbols such as the winged disk that appeared on copies of Studies in the Scriptures and the cross and crown motif that appeared in Watch Tower literature and was often worn by Bible Students as religious ornaments. But instead of being drawn from Egyptian paganism as has been asserted by Russell’s adversaries, the winged disks simply represented “the sun of righteousness” that would “arise with healing in his wings” according to Malachi 4: 2. As for the cross and crown motif, it was simply a common one in the nineteenth and earlier centuries that was used by many Christian groups. Equally specious is the claim that Russell was a Freemason. That is easy to see from comments in which he advised Bible Students against becoming Masons [128] and by his lack of knowledge of the work and rituals of Freemasonry."

    Penton, M. James. Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses, Third Edition (p. 64). University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. Kindle Edition.


    127 For a prime example of such claims, see Fritz Springmeier, The Watchtower and the Masons (Portland, Oregon: printed privately, 1990).

    128 He stated: “We note also the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of profane worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and truth – through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master” (WT, reprints 1827).

    Penton, M. James. Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses, Third Edition (p. 415). University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. Kindle Edition.

    So that is proof enough for me that Russell wasn't a Mason.

    However, it is very well known (and public even) that Joseph Smith and many early Mormon leaders were Masons.

    My question is, where are the records? I have tried searching everywhere online but cannot find one way to actually prove that Joseph Smith was a Mason.

    If anyone knows, that would be really appreciated.


  • Finkelstein

    In 1842 Smith became a Master Mason, as indicated by in the History of the Church:

    Tuesday, [March] 15. — I officiated as grand chaplain at the installation of the Nauvoo Lodge of Free Masons, at the Grove near the Temple. Grand Master Jonas, of Columbus, being present, a large number of people assembled on the occasion. The day was exceedingly fine; all things were done in order, and universal satisfaction was manifested. In the evening I received the first degree in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office. History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1978, Vol.4, Ch.32, p.550–1.)

  • blondie

    This is Barbara Anderson's research on Russell not being a Mason. It might be necessary to take the same route she did.

  • TD


    So that is proof enough for me that Russell wasn't a Mason.

    Yes. As a fellow skeptic, I agree.

    I think a more fundamental question is why it would matter one way or the other.

    Given the fact that JW's today disapprove of groups like the Foresters, Masons, Shriners, Odd-Fellows, Loyal Order Of Moose, etc., etc., etc., it would obviously be embarrassing to some degree of we could establish Russell's membership, but it honestly seems to me to be more than that.

    The fixation on Russell's alleged connection to Freemasonry seems to spring from personal acceptance of more sinister conspiracy theories involving the New World Order, the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, Knights Templar and so on.

  • dropoffyourkeylee

    My father was a FreeMason before he was a JW. He says the Bible they used was the first one he had ever looked at or paid any attention to. I believe it was the KJV, and they memorize portions of it for their stuff they do.

  • Crazyguy

    Russell may not of been a Freemason but man they sure use a lot of Mason symbolism back then

  • ILoveTTATT2

    Thank you!

    I found the History of the Church online, and therefore I confirmed the quote on Wikipedia:

  • ILoveTTATT2

    This is a much better version (facsimile) of the book History of the Church:

  • Finkelstein

    Russell most likely picked up Pyramidology through the Masons since the Great Pyramid has symbolic relevance within the Organization of Freemasonry.

  • Hairtrigger

    Among masons when you become a member of a lodge yu ...not necessarily...but often become a member of a Chapter. It is at the Chapter meeting that yu are made aware of the name JEHOVAH. As God's holy name.


Share this