One rebuttal I constantly here regarding the Masonic connection to
Masonry is that they both had a common origin. I beleive I have
adequately addressed this point showing that the LDS Kirtland
Endowment (prior to Joseph Smith joining Masonry) did not contain
the many Masonic similarities. A brief description of the Kirtland
Endowment can be viewed here:
Another intersesting point regarding the similarities between the Masonic ritual elements and the LDS endowment is the oaths and accompanying signs themselves. I cannot discuss the particulars on this newsgroup, but the fact that Joseph Smith was under a solemn oath not to reveal the Masonic elements is very clear, just as Mormons are under an obligation to not publicly discuss the LDS ritual in detail.
So what we have here is Joseph Smith entering the Masonic organization where he must make a solemn oath not to reveal certain signs, keys, tokens, etc. to non-Masons. After Joseph Smith joins Masonry the LDS endowment is "revised" and many of the Masonic similarities appear in the LDS religious ceremony, the exact same elements Joseph Smith swore during his Masonic initiation that he would not reveal.
Mormon apologists argue that the signs, tokens, keys, etc. came from the same source, therefore Joseph Smith did not borrow them from the Masons and that the Masons took them from the original. So this brings up an interesting point. Regardless of where Joseph Smith learned the Masonic signs, keys, tokens, etc. he still took a solemn oath not to reveal them to a non-Mason or outside of the Masonic organization.
Consider this..... What if a faithful Mormon took the endowment signs, tokens, keys, etc. and started initiating these elements during a private club house meeting? Would this be a violation of the Mormon Temple oaths? Although not the entire ceremony is reproduced, certainly many symbolic aspects of it are revealed? Is this wrong? If you think not, then is there any problem in discussing specific Mormon endowment elements with non-Mormons?
Some questions to ponder?
Are Mormons that remain faithful to the LDS religion to keep the LDS endowment "elements" secret?
Are ex-Mormons under the same obligation to keep the LDS endowment "elements" secret eventhough they renounce their Mormon oaths/religion?
Are Masons who make a solemn oath during the initiation rites later able to incorporate the Masonic "elements" into their own private club house ceremonies?
Are non-Mormons (never a Mormon) under an inherent obligation not to reveal the LDS ceremony just because others are under this obligation?
Is it proper for Mormons to join an organization such as the Masons who obviously have many similarities in signs, tokens, keys, as are represented in the LDS endowment?