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Is Book of Mormon anti-Masonic? (Part 3 of 7)

Historian Dan Vogel said the Book of Mormon was very anti-masonic in one of my previous interviews with him.  Cheryl Bruno disagreed with that notion, saying the Book of Mormon was anti-spurious masonry.  I asked Clair Barrus to weigh in on this issue.  What does he think?

Clair:  There are two forms of masonry, according to George Oliver, who has some fascinating parallels with what Joseph Smith’s Mormonism, in that there’s a spurious masonry, and then there’s pure masonry. The story goes clear back to the time of Adam. Well, God is the original Mason, and he architects the universe, and then he creates Adam.

GT:  So this is a Masonic tale that you’re telling me, right?

Clair:  This is a Masonic tale, yes.  Then he creates Adam and then he tells Adam the true Word, the ineffable word, which is kind of the secretive name of God. He tells Adam, the word.  It’s called in masonry, the word or the ineffable word. Then Adam passes that down, almost kind of like priesthood. He passes it down through his genealogical lines. It goes clear down to the time of Solomon and they end up with it and then and then they lose it. Long story short, the keeper of the word gets murdered and they lose the word and it’s lost. We’ll talk about this word here in a bit. But Cain breaks off and creates a spurious, evil, bad, misappropriated masonry, and he starts this line of adulterated masonry, spurious masonry, if I understand it, right.  I’m oversimplifying, and I hope Cheryl’s not shaking her head, going, “Oh man, Clair’s kind of got it right.” But, this is not my area of expertise.

GT:  When we post this, she can weigh in on it.

Clair: She can weigh in on it, yes. But that’s generally speaking, correct. So now you go to the story of William Morgan, 1826. He is going to publish an exposé of masonry. The masons supposedly freak out. William Morgan goes to jail in Canandaigua just a few miles south of the Smiths. Joseph Smith, Sr. happens to be serving time there for some debt. I think it is debt related issues. Then, later, the Masons bail out William Morgan. When he steps out of jail, they arrest him. They take them up to one of the Great Lakes. They toss him in, so the story goes.  We don’t know the details, but this is kind of story that percolates out.

GT:  The thing that always bugs me is our founding fathers were masons. George Washington was a Mason. I believe Thomas Jefferson was a Mason, like everybody was a Mason. The Constitution used a lot of Masonic principles. So it’s interesting that in 1791, when George Washington is the president until, I don’t remember exactly the year that Andrew Jackson was elected, probably 1828, I believe.

Clair:  Something like that.

GT:  Somewhere around that timeframe. So we go from the founders of our of our nation are good masons to this William Morgan murder, and now they’re public enemy number one.

Clair:  It was an overreaction. Sure. These masons were upset about William Morgan trying to expose their Masonic secrets. But the overreaction was bad and that happens in in the world all the time. Overreaction is often worse than what they’re originally reacting to. So in the Book of Mormon, you have this anti-Masonic stuff popping up.  There’s two ways to interpret it. It’s either anti-masonry, or its anti-spurious masonry.

Check out our conversation….

Is Book of Mormon anti-Masonic? (Part 3 of 7)
Anti-Masonic postcard

Don’t miss our previous conversation with Clair Barrus!

407:  Oliver Cowdery’s Rod of Revelation

406:  Masonic Connections in Oliver Cowdery’s Family

More Podcasts with these Interviewees

People Interviewed: Clair Barrus, Dan Vogel
Mormon History: Masonry
People in LDS History: Mormon History, William Morgan
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