Historian Don Bradley made some waves in my previous interview when he said there were masonic implements with the Gold Plates. It turns out that Clair Barrus has some similar beliefs, and we will talk about masonic legends and golden plates.
Clair: Lucy Mack Smith writes about this. She says, “Joseph said, ‘Do not be uneasy, mother. All is right. See here, I have got a key.'” He calls it a key. “I knew not what he meant. I took the article of which he spoke into my hands and upon examination found it consisted of two, smooth three-quarter diamonds set in glass. And the glasses were set in silver bows.” This is Joseph Smith’s translating device, but he calls it a key, the same word that is used in the Royal Arch Masonic myth. The high priest puts on a breastplate, uses the key, and he translates the characters that were originally from a gold plate. So I think there’s something going on there. I think this may be what inspired Joseph Smith to go on and allow Mormonism to come forth.
GT: So you think there’s a Masonic connection to the origins? The origin story of the golden plates? Is that [right]?
Clair: I think so. I think that at some point Joseph shifts from a common treasure-seeker to a restorer of ancient scripture, buried scripture written by ancient prophets.
Clair: I think that story and then the idea of how do we translate these and what do we even wear while we’re translating it? I think that also comes from masonry.
What are your thoughts? Check out our conversation…
Don’t miss our previous conversations with Clair!
409: Different Types of Masonry (Barrus)
408: Is Book of Mormon anti-Masonic? (Barrus)
407: Oliver Cowdery’s Rod of Revelation (Barrus)
406: Masonic Connections in Oliver Cowdery’s Family (Barrus)