True Stuff that I Made Up

PLEASE NOTE: The entries which are published at this site are solely my personal and sometimes whimsical musings. For information regarding my political positions and proposals, please visit

Further, this website is devoutly dedicated to all of my friends and associates, both early and late, who have mentored and influenced me. However, being who they are, the majority of them have been late most of the time.

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Sunday, August 29, 2004

LDS Temples and the Masons

The following is a copy of a previous letter that I sent to an old friend, who encouraged me to join the Masons.
He was excited to have joined the Masonic Lodge, but also mistakenly confused the Masonic rituals with the Restored Gospel.
Although the topic did not seem germane to this forum, persistent promptings persuaded me otherwise.

My letter to him was as follows:

The Masons, a fine organization, are doing wonderful work in their fraternal, social, and community endeavors.
Lawrence David Steinbach. my maternal Grandfather and a Scottish Rite Mason Lodge Master, also encouraged me to join the Masonic Order, as have others over the years.
Joseph Smith, the first Prophet of this dispensation and the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), was a Mason, but it is an urban myth among some Masons that the LDS Church Temple rites were borrowed from the Masons.
While it is true that there is a superficial similarity on some minor points, the rites are different, most especially in purpose.
From the original Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem went forth ideas and traditions found in many aspects all over the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim worlds.
Latter-day Saints admire the good works done by other faiths and organizations.
Nevertheless, Joseph Smith did not reinvent the Temple by putting together all the remaining fragments of truth - Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Masonic, Gnostic, Hindu, Egyptian, etc. together again.
He restored God's Temple in these latter days, as directed and revealed by Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
LDS Temples are not a human contrivance, but rather are a direct result of latter-day revelation from God, to restore His spiritual covenants and gifts in this, His last dispensation.
Because of this heartfelt belief and knowledge, I choose to direct my time and energy to the spiritual promises and gifts found only in LDS Temples.
The benefits are much more lasting (eternal) than that which can be gleaned from any other organization on the face of this Earth.
They are the result of latter-day revelation from God through His latter-day Prophets and Apostles here on Earth within the LDS Church.
Even so, the Masons do good works, filling a tremendous need and setting a wonderful example of service, and I commend you for your affiliation within that benevolent organization.

Note: The understandings outlined in the above letter to my friend did not originate with me. Others, such as Matthew B. Brown ("The Gate of Heaven"), John A. Widtsoe, and Hugh W. Nibley ("What is a Temple") were my sources of information. Thanks also goes to Dan McKinley, Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) at Brigham Young University.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Speaking Up and Out

Recently, a coworker opined to me, with some annoyance, that she didn't understand why I persist so much in standing up and speaking out on various issues of principle which are dear to me.
She is not alone in her pique.
Some others also just don't get it, and have vented their obloquy and calumny even more forcefully.
They don't yet understand why it is important to persist in the pursuance of principles.
Put another way, Gordon B. Hinckley, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church),
observed that, "We are not likely to get that which we do not speak up for. Let our voices be heard....Remarkable consequences often flow from a well written letter and a postage stamp." (Ensign magazine, September, 2004).
In modern day revelation, Jesus Christ himself reminded us of the following:
"Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great". (LDS Church Doctrine & Covenants, Section 64, verse 33).

Note: I also want to share (with permission) the following response to the above posting-

Larry...that was a beautiful thought...and I quite agree...if I did not have the peace and happiness that I feel with the gospel in my life and in my heart...and I found out that someone had it and had not shared it with is a conundrum...because I cannot imagine my life without it...and yet I wonder...what is the problem people have with us sharing what has brought so much joy in our own lives? I love people...I want to share what is meaningful to me...I will love them whether or not they choose to follow my suggestions...why are they so offended? It is precisely the fact that we love them that we share is a definite dilemma.

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