Monday, 19 October 2009

Koinonia: Latayne C. Scott: The Lost and Found of Masonry and Mormonism

 A great blog post from Latayne Scott:
I imagine that many Christians have wriggled uncomfortably as they read Dan Brown’s new book, The Lost Symbol. Scattered through the book are disparaging references to Christianity (and not a few barefaced prostitutions of Bible verses taken out of context).
But imagine the reaction of some Mormons who have been through the secret LDS temple ceremonies when they read, in the first pages of the book, of Masonic oaths whose penalties are "Throat cut from ear to ear. . .tongue torn out by its roots. . .bowels taken out and burned . . .scattered to the four winds of heaven.."
Koinonia: Latayne C. Scott: The Lost and Found of Masonry and Mormonism


Seth R. said...

The reaction is likely to be a total blank, because that wording is not a part of the modern temple ceremony.

I only know that this once was a part of the language because I've been around the internet a while. But most Mormons age 40 and under aren't going to even be aware of this. So it will be a non-issue for them.

Mike Tea said...

Now you see Seth you are working to a double standard here. In another post comment you bemoaned the destructive character of those who look too closely at Mormon history and here you dismiss an accurate and very apposite account of Mormon temple history, saying that it is not relevant. What you mean is it doesn't please you so you choose to ignore it.

At least be man enough to admit it when something just doesn't suit you instead of feigning that urbane indifference so typical of the Mormon who would rather not bother this time because he hasn't got an answer.

Seth R. said...

Chill out.

I'm just providing you with data.

I didn't say what I thought about it one way or the other.

Fact: modern Mormons have no clue what you are talking about because the temple language changed and they won't recognize the words in the book.


Do you dispute this data point?

Mike Tea said...


You imply from your "data" that this is a non-issue. The question is not whether I recognise the picture you paint but whether you are comfortable with the Mormon Church's practice of hidng these changes behind a wall of official silence. Any Christian Church worth its salt openly discusses it praxis but the Mormon Church presents changes as though they are no changes at all.

Is it right that generations of Mormons are now coming up who think that what they have is the way it has always been? I have lost count of the discussions I have had with Mormons who refuse to believe the truth when I tell them about the oaths I took in the 1970's and there is no official source to disabuse them of the idea that nothing has changed.

It really is too bad that they cannot look to their own church leaders to give a candid and full account of how Mormonism has developed over the generations.

Seth R. said...

Actually, this is one of those things that I frankly don't care about.

Nor do I think the Masonry connection is even the slightest bit a negative thing for the LDS Church.

Also keep in mind that the LDS Church has a tough enough time just getting people to learn the basics that they do spoon-feed to us. If you're asking the LDS Church to provide a Bachelors Degree level course on Mormonism to all its members, I'd say you're being just a tad unrealistic.

You also seem to be ignoring the level of ignorance in ALL faith traditions, including your own.

It's not like the prophet can just magically wave his hand and educate the entire Mormon population.

So they settle for teaching the basics and telling the members (repeatedly, I might add) to study Church history and scripture on their own time.

Then certain members blow the advice off and decide that everything they need to know is being taught in Sunday School. Then they encounter new information and start whining about how the LDS Church didn't force-feed it to them in high school.

Look, I'm usually one who is willing to talk about the inadequacies of LDS religious education, but you're making it really difficult.

I don't trust you, and I don't think you are being balanced, or fair.

When I feel you are being those things, you'll find me a little more willing to discuss the problems of religion - all religions.

Mike Tea said...

We seem to be dancing around the same broad subject in both discussions now so forgive me if I repeat myself. I don't have a problem with the fact that this subject doesn't bother you. Why do you have a problem with the fact that it bothers me?

It isn't necessary for the Mormon Church to produce a degree in Mormonology to simply inform people of the salient facts. It is my experience that Mormons are generally incredibly ignorant of not only their own faith but of the Christian faith into which they insist they fit. Indeed, the Christian faith they so blithely reject for Mormonism is almost totally unknown to them.

The level of knowledge and understanding among Christians could always do with improving I agree, but the Christians I know are meat eaters and it is nothing to boast about that Mormons are fed milk. Indeed, it is the fact that they are fed milk (and usually formula) that is the problem.

It is not the case that Mormons are ignorant but not for want of trying on the part of their leaders. They are kept ignorant because they are taught to live on what they are spoon fed and that suits their leaders just fine. I rejoice in your independence of thought but it is atypical I fear.

You surely must recognise that what we believe shapes our worldview which, in turn, shapes our sometimes life-changing decisions. The implications of the Masonic origins of the Mormon temple ceremony are far reaching and it is surely better that people know and understand what they are doing so as to form an accurate worldview and make informed decisions?

Mormonism teaches that what a Mormon "knows" is consistent and virtually set in stone. To expose that untruth is surely no bad thing.

Seth R. said...


Scratch most of that last comment.

I'm just being grumpy today.

Carry on.

Mike Tea said...

You too? I thought it was only me.