From this newspaper article in the Salt Lake Tribune today, how do you connect what is now being done, openly within a Masonic Temple operation by its members to what is done in a Mormon Temple which are similar?
SALT LAKE MASONIC TEMPLE TO BE RENOVATED
The 77-year-old Masonic Temple on South Temple in Salt Lake City is mysterious. Freemasons there perform secret rituals in elaborately decorated and symbol-rich rooms. But the impressive - and imposing - building is rarely used by groups unconnected to the masons.
That could change as the Freemasons attempt to preserve the building, and the organization itself. With only 2,000 members in Utah, the Freemasons need new recruits. They also need more nonmembers to rent space in the building and help cover its operational costs, which run between $100,000 and $150,000 per year.
A $6 million to $10 million-plus renovation of the temple may accomplish both tasks.
Besides installing new cooling, heating and electrical systems in the Egyptian Revival-style edifice and protecting it from earthquakes, The Masonic Temple Association would like to add more space suitable for use by wedding parties, nonprofit and other groups.
"We've got a wonderful treasure down there," said Frank Gustin, president of the Masonic Center Restoration Fund. "A lot of the membership feel people need to know more about the temple and masonry."
The building, at 650 E. South Temple, was completed in 1927 after 18 months of work for $750,000. Its Egyptian style is evidenced by the scarab, serpent, sun disc and sphinxes that adorn its exterior. According to the Utah Heritage Foundation, the style was popularized by the 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb. Most of the wall carvings, decorations and woodwork in the 107,000-square foot building are original, if worn.
Association members are exploring how to pay for the renovation, which could begin in summer 2005. They also are appraising the building's artwork and library collection.
The masons are already working on explaining themselves and their temple. On Saturday, they held an open house, giving visitors a rare glimpse of spaces thought to be off-limits.
"For many, many years, the masons were very secretive. They were very exclusive. There is no particular good reason for it," said Bruce Betts, former leader of the state's Freemasons, who led Saturday's tour.
The organization is exclusive to men who believe in God, though there are affiliated groups for women and children. It may have started by stonemasons who built cathedrals and castles in Europe during the Middle Ages. It's now mainly made up of masons of varying professions who meet to "explore ethical and philosophical issues," according to the Wasatch Lodge Web site.
They are known for their philanthropy - in Utah, for example, they created the Shriners Hospital for Children - and their symbolism.
Members have a secret handshake and password. The Salt Lake Masonic Temple includes four themed rooms - Moorish, Egyptian, Gothic and Colonial - that masons use to discuss private business and induct new members. Each room has an altar and contains the stonemason's square and compass tools. There also are staircases inscribed with words meaningful to masons.
These lodge rooms will likely remain exclusive to the Freemasons if the temple is renovated for more public use, Betts said. But the 900-seat auditorium, with its dome decorated by a representation of constellations, could be used for more public purposes. It includes a stage equipped with 127 backdrops for use during lodge meetings. Freemasons use plays to teach concepts, according to a mason pamphlet. Gustin said children may be able to use the backdrops in their own productions.
He also envisions art exhibits and banquets at the temple. The association also might build a reception garden nearby for weddings - which have been held in the building before, along with dance festivals. Scenes from the now-defunct TV show "Touched by an Angel" were shot in the Gothic room. The association may restore the dance floor on the roof, he said.
"A more public use for portions of the building would be a wonderful idea," said Betts. "It sits vacant."
What did you discover?
- fund raiser through public relations
- open house to recruit more members (general public sees how fancy it is)
- special handshakes & secret password
- humanitarian services
- secret meetings & exclusive
- an expensive place of worship with many symbols, a stage and altars for blood oath promises (assembly section) as warned by Alma when he was visiting Nephite cities
- no faith to protect the building from earthquakes (like the new assembly hall)
In 1845, under the direction of 1820 Masons Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball the Mormon learned about Masonic Secret Blood Oaths. What did Alma, the first Church of Christ Leader (Mosiah 25:19-24; 26:8, about 120 BC) in the Book of Mormon learn about congregations throughout the land (only through repentance will one know God, like Abinadi told King Noah and his high priests)?
What is NOT done in the Masonic Temple, but which is the cornerstone for Mormons through the 1829 visit by John the Baptist and the restoration of baptism in the latter days? == Baptism for All Living People and Baptism for the Dead for All People. The Prophet Joseph Smith included women and blacks in this practice. This is what President Harold B. Lee wanted to do in the 1970s. He wanted Temple work immediately accomplished and performed all over the world through Stake Centers becoming "temples" for the Lord, because they had baptismal fonts. He believed all other temple "promises" are for the "living". President Lee agreed that the most important work during the 1,000 year Millennium Period is Baptism and Baptism for the Dead. How many people have read the Bible, Book of Mormon and other ancient records teaching about the importance of being "born again"? A re-birth in the Name of Jesus by one with the authority directly connected to Jesus is the best form of repentance from a life without God. The Royal Masonic Rites in Scotland could not connect their practices to this authority by John the Baptist. The Masons had to "steal" what the Lord gave to Joseph Smith Jr to create a continuous commitment of the blood oath of King Solomon and the original Temple of the Lord. This is why Jacob 2 & 3 is so important for the Mormons to wake up and realize that the Book of Mormon is for the Millennium in its purest form. This is what President Ezra Taft Benson warned in April, 1989 General Conference and told the members that the Mormon Church was condemned because of "pride".
Do the Mormons want to remain a Masonic Society, with many secrets and blood oaths as warned to the Egyptian Prince Moses? (Read in the Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses 5:29)