This is an archived copy of a post written by Conflict Of Justice ( Used with permission: Conflict Of Justice may not agree with any alterations made.

“Why did the Church remove the blood oath penalties and the 5 Points of Fellowship at the veil from the endowment ceremony in 1 990? Both 100% Masonic rituals? What does this say about the Temple and the endowment ceremony if 100% pagan Masonic rituals were in it from its inception? What does it say about the Church if it removed something that Joseph Smith said he restored and which would never again be taken away from the earth?” (CES Letter)

So What? – Joseph Smith never said he restored the exact same words and actions from ancient temple ceremonies. He never said temple policies would never been taken away from the earth. He never said temple ceremonies couldn’t be altered or adapted to different circumstances. CES Letter is making this up. There is no reason why parts of the temple policies and procedures should be unchanging.

Temple ordinances since the beginning of time have always undergone minor adaptations for different times and circumstances. Anti-Mormons are stuck on their weird insistence that church policies and procedures should always be unchanging. The fact that the Mormon temple ceremony changes defeats CES Letter‘s earlier narrative that it ought to be exactly the same as Solomon’s temple. If Freemason rituals based on the ancient temple changed over the years and the LDS ceremonies have some similarities to modern versions, then obviously it is okay for minor details to change. Why wouldn’t it be okay? Mormons understand that while principles are eternal, policies and commandments can change under prophetic direction.

These two parts of the temple ceremony that CES Letter mentions indeed were changed. They were not eliminated but slightly altered to be more appropriate for today’s society and culture. The intent and important spiritual principles are still there, and the ordinances serve their purposes just as well.

See also:LDS Temple Ceremony From Freemasonry?

Not Pagan – The wording and behaviors in Masonic rituals indeed resemble the presentation of these parts of the LDS ceremony. That is because the Masonic rituals likely derive from the ancient Jerusalem temple.

The accusation that these rituals are Pagan is completely baseless and false. CES Letter invents the claims literally out of thin air that the Masonic rituals are modern inventions and that they are from the Pagan religion. Freemasonry can be traced back to the Bible and Near Eastern culture.

CES Letter Logical Fallacies

FalsehoodThis argument’s premise is false. Parts of the endowment were not totally removed but just slightly altered. The endowment and associative Masonic rituals are not Pagan. Joseph Smith never said the exact same temple ceremonies of ancient times were restored or that they would never be taken away. These two parts of the LDS endowment presentation are not “100%” the same as Masonic rituals.
RepetitionCES Letter repeats key phrases like “100%” Masonic rituals and “endowment ceremony.”
Non SequiturCES Letter‘s narrative makes no sense. The fact that the endowment changes suggests we don’t claim to have exactly the same thing Solomon’s temple had, which we also the premise of the previous argument.
Guilt By AssociationMasons, Pagans, and Mormons… Oh my!
Strawman ArgumentCES Letter quotes Mormon President Heber C. Kimball: “The Masonry of today is received from the apostasy which took place in the days of Solomon, and David. They have now and then a thing that is correct, but we have the real thing.” Does he say we have the exact same ceremony Solomon had? No.
Big Lie TacticCES Letter shifts between internal contradictions and external contradictions to propagate their big lie. Previously, CES Letter (baselessly) argued that the LDS temple contradicts ancient rituals. Now they argue that the LDS temple contradicts earlier LDS temple ceremonies. CES Letter ignores all historical context, and perpetuate the big lie.

CES Letter gets away with this intellectually ridiculous attack because people are so eager to dismiss anything associated with Freemasons or the Illuminati or whatever. There is so much mythology on TV about it and conspiracy theories in the news. It is easy to make an Ad Hominem attack through association. It takes people too long to look at the actual eviedence and study actual historical documents. Even mainstream church apologists are beaten down by all of the accusations and have give way to the big lie.

CES Letter reinforces their phony narrative about the Mormon methodology. Why, if gospel doctrine were eternal and unchanging, would we be changing the all-important temple ceremonies?

We must understand, followers of Satan do not believe truth is constant. The only thing constant to them is their ideology of compulsion and universal salvation. Everything else is a narrative that can shift at any moment as needed to propagate the ideology. In following their contradiction strategy, skeptics seek to prove that truth is changeable by holding Mormons to an unrealistic rigid standard. Ever single word spoken in the holy temple throughout human history must line up perfectly, or else truth must be changeable. If one day Solomon said something in a temple ceremony and modern Mormons said something different, then that means it’s a contradiction and truth changed. If anyone can possibly misconstrue something to sound different than what was said in the past, then anti-Mormons will use that to reaffirm their belief in relative truth.

This narrative introduces a false dichotomy between continuing revelation and eternal rigid truth. How is truth supposed to be eternal when we have all these new prophets saying different things than ancient prophets? Why do we need modern prophets if truth is eternal? Satan’s followers believe church policy is the same thing as doctrine, and that doctrine is therefore always changing. But the reality is policy is different than doctrine, and while doctrine is unchanging, policy is always changing to fit with modern circumstances. We don’t drink wine in modern times because drinking is a much more dangerous vice than it was in ancient times, for example.

You could take the easy path and dismiss the temple ceremony as a plagiarism of modern Freemason rituals, or taken the other path which is the lengthy task of answering every single nit-picked question that anti-Mormons throw at you. Often, the answer cannot be known because it is lost history. In this case, the entire thing is lost in history. Either make the easy assumption or be forced to back up every detail of your beliefs from attack. That is your choice.

The author of CES Letter apparently made the easy decision, and that is why they expect members of the church to answer every single little challenge instead of discovering the truth for themselves. They want easy beliefs. Of course, they do not say what it is they belief in so we can’t return challenges in kind to their faith. They never say “instead of this we believe in this.” I think this is why anti-Mormons typically don’t bring up the real reasons why they left the church when they ask their “questions.” No mention of gay marriage, feminism, or the other social issues of today which they typically complain about. They want to snipe from a safe position where they don’t have to talk about their own beliefs.

Anyone who actually knows history knows CES Letter is wrong, but real value of this argument is that it builds association between Mormons and secret societies. The point of this argument is not to convince us that Joseph Smith ripped off the temple ceremony, but to associate Joseph Smith with shadowy secret groups. That is what really makes this argument effective. Thus, CES Letter reinforces their Big Lie that Mormons are dangerous.

This is how CES Letter operates: through innuendo. They push the Big Lies, they wrap them in a veneer of science, and this convinces the weak-minded members of their audience that science is a superior alternative truth to Mormonism, and that science proves that Joseph Smith was dangerous. This is what is known as superstition. Not science. This is like saying Joseph Smith was visited by an ancient alien in his First Vision at Cumorah, rather than God and angels. It is unscientific, goofy, and erases all faith.

Contradiction StrategyCES Letter goes back and forth between too much similarity and too much difference between other sources.

A requirement of the strategy being used by anti-Mormons is that each part of the Mormon belief system needs a ‘particular essence.’ Followers of Satan can never say: “Well, we just don’t know.” They need an answer for every part, so that they can deconstruct every part, belief by belief.

This is easier to accomplish when the answer are constantly shifting and you don’t have to settle on one single truth, like Mormons have to. One day, Joseph Smith got his geography names from upstate New York. In a couple years, if we look at anti-Mormon websites they might tell us he actually got them from some book he read, or a map of Mongolia that a family friend possessed. As for Freemasonry, if tomorrow a document surfaces that unmistakably connects Freemason rituals to Jerusalem’s temple, anti-Mormons will just shift the narrative to something else–probably shift to inconsistencies.

When it comes to history, there is so much we don’t know and will never know. This argument is ridiculous because there are zero records to confirm where the rituals came from, and CES Letter asserts their claim from thin air. Fools jump to conclusions. Followers of Satan are easily tricked when it comes to their pareidolia and history, because they are lazy and do not care to use critical thought. It is especially easy when it comes to the Mormon temple because Mormons are reticent about what happens in the temple and anti-Mormons can say pretty much whatever they want. They spread all kinds of falsehoods about these sacred buildings and sully the temple unopposed. If there is vague evidence for something but we mostly don’t know what really happened because it is ancient history, followers of Satan will jump to lazy conclusions, whatever narrative is hyped on in the media and dressed up in emotional language.

It is easy to manipulate Satan’s followers when it comes to history because they rely only on what they can see and put no true faith in anything.

What does CES Letter believe in? What tenant of faith do hold that we can verify or discredit with archaeology? Global warming? Human evolution? Give us something! Why don’t they discuss an alternative belief to the beliefs of the Book of Mormon and bible, and talk about physical evidences? Instead, they nit-pick and tear down an entire belief system with unscientific appeals to fake science. They construct flimsy narratives to tear down Christian beliefs and replace it with a “general essence” that focuses only

Categories: Apologetics