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Masonic Connections in Oliver Cowdery’s Family (Part 1 of 7)

Clair Barrus has been studying Mormon history since before Al Gore invented the internet!

Clair:  Well, to show my ancientness, I was actually online in 1984, on the internet, when only engineering firms and universities were on the internet.

GT:  Was this like Prodigy or AOL or something else?

Clair:  It was before. I remember when AOL and Prodigy came online. This was pre-anything. You had to be working at an engineering firm, and some universities had access.

GT:  So like the ARPANET?

Clair:  Oh, yeah, it was the ARPANET. Yeah, it was pre-internet. It was the ARPANET.

GT:  Wow, you’re very experienced.

Clair:  Yeah, I’ve been around for a while. (Chuckling)

I was surprised to learn that it isn’t just Joseph Smith who has connections to masonry and magic.  It turns out that Oliver Cowdery has a family history with magic and masonry.  Clair Barrus will tell us more.

Clair:  Let me start with Oliver Cowdery and his father William Cowdery. I think there’s some interesting early Masonic influences that may have come through Oliver Cowdery. Oliver Cowdery’s father was actually involved very early on in a group called, the New Israelites. When you think of New Israelites, compare that with Latter-day Saints.  New and Latter are related, and Saints and Israelites are related. So, you have an interesting relationship just in the naming there. The New Israelites were a very interesting group of people up in Vermont that William Cowdery was involved with. They used rods a lot. They were rodsmen, and they would use rods to get revelations through. Then they created a religious movement and they had a dietary code/restrictions, just has an interesting parallel to the Word of Wisdom. They wanted to build a new Jerusalem. They actually would use their divining rods to gather underground gold and had vast heaps of gold and they were going to use that gold to pave the streets of their new Jerusalem.  They got a revelation. Nathaniel Wood, who was the leader, got a revelation that they should build a temple. Now this is interesting because think about it. What temple builders are there in American religious history? The Mormons or the Latter-day Saints and the New Israelites and the Masons. The Masons are symbolic temple builders.  The interior of every Masonic Lodge is a temple. That was it before Joseph Smith, so I think this is an interesting, unique parallel.  If anyone knows of another temple builder before Joseph Smith, I would love to know, please let me know.

Check out our conversation….

Masonic Connections in Oliver Cowdery’s Family (Part 1 of 7)
Historian Clair Barrus tells about the masonic connections in Oliver Cowdery’s family.

Don’t miss our previous conversation about Masonry and Mormonism with historian Cheryl Bruno!

405: Mormon-Mason Similarities/Differences (Bruno)

404: Joseph Smith’s Masonic Connections (Bruno)

403: Masonry from King Solomon to Kirtland (Bruno)

More Podcasts with these Interviewees

People Interviewed: Clair Barrus
Mormon History: Masonry
LDS Theology: Magic, Theology
People in LDS History: Joseph Smith, Mormon History, Oliver Cowdery

1 thought on “Masonic Connections in Oliver Cowdery’s Family (Part 1 of 7)

  1. Since evidence to the Mason connection is to either provide credits to the possibilities that God and the revelation to the earlier saints through Joseph Smith would discredit him entirely if the so called Masonic used magic as part of Joseph resources. It is an assumption that looks probable, Hello, the question is why would a revelation be forth coming from magic, and superstition. It does not compute, unlike the so called science assumptions about energy or quarks or quasars are quantize into a similar magic matter approach. Both are erroneous. That conclusion about origins and history and reveal things that we are suppose to find should not be based on illusion of things. Joseph Smith may be a gifted individual yet it is sad to record that his bias, as a new faith, could be not be based the ghost father concept and not more like Jesus, comments that the kingdom of heaven is within. Out based religion is based on our superstitious and capricious aggrandizing even social justice for themselves. I do however, see that all good things can come of those mistakes of the early founders of any religion if only they strive to never be satisfied with truth, and be content with what they call understanding that we are children of god. But we should grow up to be adults of god.

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