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While Freemasonry as a rule avoids religious discussion, the early history of Joseph Smith and the Church of Latter-Day Saints has definte masonic points of interest.
HISTORY INDEX
ORIGINS OF FREEMASONRY
LATTER-DAY SAINTS
Conflict
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Freemasonry:
"The Mormon Church has no quarrel with Freemasonry or any other organization which is formed for a righteous purpose ... A Mason who may become a member to the Mormon Church is in no way restrained from affiliation with his lodge..."1
Grand Lodge of Utah on the Church of Latter-Day Saints
Michael S. Thomas reports that "in 1879, John O. Sorenson, a Mason and member of Argenta Lodge No. 3, was suspended from the Craft because he joined the Mormon Church."2 The Grand Secretary of Utah circulated an explanation to all the American Grand Lodges:
[While every Craftsman was free] "to join any church and embrace any creed he chooses, and ([Freemasonry] demands of him only that he shall admit the theological belief taught on the threshold of our sacred Temple, and further, that he should be loyal to the government under which he lives, and yield a willing obedience to all its laws, the Masons in Utah contend that the latter important prerequisite is wanting in Mormons, because one of the chief tenets of their church in Utah is polygamy, which the United States Statute has declared to be a crime, and which all civilized nations consider a relic of barbarism."3
An informal ban was generally adhered to until the following resolution was presented and adopted by the Grand Lodge of Utah in 1925:
"Whereas, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly called the Mormon Church, is an organization, the teachings and regulations of which are incompatible with membership in the Masonic Fraternity, therefore: "Be It Resolved: That a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints, commonly called the Mormon Church, is not eligible to become a member of any Lodge F.& A.M. in this State and membership in such Church shall be sufficient grounds for expulsion." 4
Gooding reports that an attempt was made to repeal the Anti-Mormon resolution, but what had been unwritten law became written law in 1927. Attempts at repeal occurred in 1965 and 1983 but it wasn't until January 31, 1984 that the Grand Lodge of Utah adopted a resolution repealing its earlier prohibition.5

1. "The Relationship of Mormonism and Freemasonry". Anthony W. Ivens, The Deseret News Press, Salt Lake City, Utah. Copyright 1934. Page 8. (Pesident Ivins was a counselor in the First Presidency of the LDS Church under President Heber J. Grant.) Cited by Michael S. Thomas, "Freemasonry and Mormonism". freedomdomain.com/freemasons/mormons01.html
2. Michael S. Thomas, "Freemasonry and Mormonism".
3. First 100 Years of Freemasonry In Utah, Vol. 1, 1872- . Gustin O. Gooding, Past Master of Utah Research Lodge. Published by Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Utah. p. 31. Cited by Thomas.
4. Annual Proceedings, Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons of Utah. 1925. Cited by Thomas.
5.Gustin O. Gooding, Utah Research Lodge.

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