My Beliefs

ARE WE RELATED?
Donny Osmond

“As I’ve traveled all over the world, the fact that I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has caused a lot of interesting questions. I’ve received so many letters and e-mails asking things like, What are the basic beliefs of Latter-day Saints?”

Debby & Donny Osmond

My Testimony

Listen

…Some want to know how Debbie and I have been able to maintain a strong marriage — over all these years — while living in the world of show business. Others want to know how we dealt with the challenges of raising a close and happy family in such difficult times.

How do we maintain a balance between work, and family life? Well, you know it’s not always easy, but the following pages are my attempt to explain a way of life that helps answer these kinds of questions. It gives me stability in a world, and in a business, that can be uncertain, compromising, and stressful. It’s the pattern that gives me direction in my life. And, I hope that this information will help answer some of your questions.

Questions & Answers

  • Baptism for the Dead & How are Masonry and LDS Similar

    Hi Donny,

    I have a question regarding “Baptism for the Dead”. I know that alot of Mormons say that it was practiced in the bible, so it is right. However, if you read that verse closely that is not what it states. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul uses the pronouns “we” and “us” for 28 verses in speaking of and to Christians. Then in verse 29 he suddenly changes the pronoun to “THEY” when he says, “Else what shall THEY do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead rise not at all, why then are THEY baptized for the dead”? It’s very clear that Paul is not referring to Christians, but to the non-Christian pagans of his day, because he refers to them as “THEY”, indicating some group other than the Christians to whom he has been speaking and addressing as “we” or “us”. In verse 30 he changes the pronoun back again when he says, “And why stand “we” in jeopardy every hour?” Clearly the “THEY” in verse 29 refers to someone other than the “we” in verse 30. You can clearly see that Paul is using the fact that the mystery religions practiced baptism for the dead as evidence that even the pagans believed in life after death. Can you tell me how the LDS cannot see this? It is so very clear.

    Can you also explain to me why Mormonism and Masonry are so connected? I’ll give some examples:

    They both have temple ceremonies with secret names, aprons, penalties, grips, and tokens. There are also many Masonic markings outside (and inside from what I’ve been told by a dear friend who is no longer in the church.) Mormon temples:the square, the compass, the beehive, the astrological symbols, the all -seeing eye of occultism, and the upside down 5 pointed star. In fact, at the historic Nauvoo Hotel on April 20, 1974, Dr. Reed C. Durham, Jr, the Association’s outgoing President, gave the traditional Presidential Address. Then, he began to read of his findings of the realtionship between Mormonism and Masonry. When he talked of the connections, he mentioned an Angel statue that was in the Visitor’s Center display in Nauvoo, Illinois. The VERY NEXT DAY that same angel statue was removed from the Visitors Center and seems to just have “vanished”. It’s well known also that Joseph Smith was once a Master Mason, and his brother Hyrum was a member of the Mount Moriah Lodge No. 112 in Palmyra, New York. Don’t you think it’s more than a bit of a coincidence that there are all these links between these two religions?

    It is not very clear at all. You have made a supposition which is interesting but there is no scriptural cross reference from which to draw this assumption. You have drawn the conclusion based on your own belief.

    There’s also the fact, (and Biblical scholars will agree with this) that since the Bible was originally translated and compiled into book form (900 A.D.), during and after that translation process, there may have been substantiating information regarding the doctrine of baptism for the dead that was simply eliminated from the text. Personal interpretation was definitely a factor as well. Who knows what happened? In any event, to say that anybody could clearly see that Paul was referring to pagans when he used the word “they” cannot be substantiated.

    For a moment, let’s just turn the coin over and examine the other side. Let’s just suppose that the words “they” and “them” referred to the Hebrew members of the Church who had originally began practicing this doctrine of baptism as preached by Christ. Have you considered that? Plus, as you know, Paul wasn’t even speaking to the Hebrews, he was addressing the Corinthians. So we can safely assume that when Christ referred to “they” and “them”, he could have been talking about the Hebrews and what they were practicing. So you see, it’s not “perfectly clear” that he was speaking about pagans, is it?

    You concluded your email by saying, “Can you explain to me why Mormonism and Masonry are so connected?” You gave some examples by citing things from our temple ceremonies saying that Masonry has either like or similar names, signs and tokens. You wrote further about markings found in Masonic lodges and temples, which you have suggested are similar to markings found on our temples.

    Please forgive me but you have no validity to your perspective since you’ve never been in any of our temples and you are offering me the “hearsay” of a “dear friend,” and then concluding with comments from Dr. Reed C. Durham, Jr. in his April 1974 Presidential address (I presume you mean his outgoing Presidential address to Masonry), as though his opinions validate your perspective on the supposed similarities between Mormonism and Masonry. Dr. Durham has never attended any session or participated in any ordinance in a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The sacredness of the temple ceremony prohibits me from being explanatory in this email. I believe that you have presented a thesis that is without factual back up as to things as they really are.

    Sorry I cannot be more helpful than this.