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Joseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism Hardcover – June 14, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The significance of Michael Homer’s work cannot be overstated. He has accomplished what no other author has done on this topic. Mormon Studies has been waiting for a work like this.”
—Michael G. Reed, author of Banishing the Cross: The Emergence of a Mormon Taboo


“The definitive treatment by the acknowledged authority in this field—long awaited, and needed since the 1820s. Homer skips the nonsense but not the details in this masterful perspective on the many meanings of Masonry in the Mormon world.”
—Rick Grunder, editor of Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source


“The scholarship is perfect. The thousands of references in the footnotes, the wealth of data offered is often mind boggling: the book’s thesis is buttressed by hundreds of primary sources. Because it is so well written with a clever sense of suspense and progression, the reader has the feeling that he is reading a detective story. Homer’s style is limpid, didactical, and always understandable.”
—Bernadette Rigal-Cellard, author of La Religion des Mormons


“Michael Homer's early articles basically created the new field of the global study of the interactions between Mormonism and Freemasonry. With this book, for many years in the making, we finally have the definitive treatment of this important and controversial issue.”
—Massimo Introvigne, author of Les Mormons 


“Takes a topic that has been the subject of endless fantasy and vituperation, and discusses it in a clear, sensible and scholarly way.”—www.patheos.com


“What makes this book particularly excellent is the care Homer takes in drawing together the intellectual and cultural traditions of Mormonism and Freemasonry to explain past and current trends in both organizations….You are missing an important contribution to the field of Mormon history if this book is not on your bookshelf.”—Association of Mormon Letters


“This is a very important book. Homer has been working for many years on the impressive research underpinning Joseph’s Temples, and has presented it in a careful restrained exposition. It will stand for decades as the essential guide to a hotly debated topic. ”—The Journal of Mormon History


“An excellent piece of scholarship…. The comprehensive, descriptive nature of the text provides a solid starting point for future studies on the topic. For those interested in researching and writing about Freemasonry and Mormonism, Joseph’s Temples will be the foundation for any serious inquiry for a long time to come.”—Utah Historical Quarterly

About the Author

Michael W. Homer practices law in Salt Lake City. He is an award-winning author and has published numerous articles in the fields of law and Mormonism. He is the editor of On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mormon West, 1834-1930 (University of Utah Press, 2010). 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press (June 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607813440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607813446
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #804,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dallas B. Robbins on May 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Great study on the relationship between Mormonism and Masonry. There will be details here and there that other scholars will disagree with, but this work is well written, not overwrought or bogged down in minutia, engages counter arguments, and is detailed and thorough enough for the specialist or general reader. Probably not for a Mormon who is not well read in Mormon history - would certainly be a shock to one who knows little on the subject. But Homer's work provides the essential text on the subject and provides a great beginning point for further study in this area.
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Format: Hardcover
The parallels between LDS Church doctrine and temple worship and Masonic legends and rituals has been noted by historians for years. Although many early LDS Church leaders were Master Masons, the ties between the two organizations broke down after Joseph Smith's death and the Church became openly involved in practicing polygamy in the mid to late 1800s. As an individual who belongs to both organizations, I found the book fascinating. Most of the books on the subject aren't worth reading. This one is well researched and is heavily footnoted. The author does show respect for each organization by not revealing the various signs, tokens, passwords, and due-guards used in Masonic and LDS Temple rituals. Smith introduced the endowment to a small group of followers shortly after becoming a Master Mason. The author doesn't attempt to answer whether or not Smith was "restoring" or "plagiarizing" things when he created the LDS endowment ritual. There is no way to definitively answer that question. It really depends on what you believe about Joseph Smith. Of course, a third option may be that Smith was "restoring" some things and "borrowing" other things to help his followers remember certain lessons/principles. Again, it sort of depends on what you believe about Joseph Smith. The author does point out inconsistencies in various policies the Grand Lodge of Utah and the LDS Church have taken over the years on various subjects. However, I believe most readers would say he is fair in pointing out these inconsistencies and contradictions. Today, relations between the Grand Lodge of Utah and the LDS Church are generally cordial. In 2008, Glen Cook, an LDS Mason, was installed by the Grand Lodge of Utah as the 137th grand master. Highly recommended
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally someone who knows both Masonry and Mormonism! The author gives a scholarly presentation of the intersection between these two groups. Everything is exhaustively documented and referenced. I would recommend it to anyone with a serious interest in the topic and caution them to leave their preconceptions at the door because there is so much more to understand.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've wondered why D&C 89 talks about strong drinks as being for the washing of bodies. After reading this book, I've stopped bathing in whiskey, realizing now that it was a ceremonial practice. Nobody told me that! :)

I've loved learning about the source of some of the practices and beliefs that have been a part of every day of my life. This is a very well-researched and structured book. I had to take the first couple of chapters in smaller bites and re-read to make sure I was understanding things correctly.
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Well written although occasionally dense, with much said in few words. This sometimes requires rereading a paragraph in order to get the full meaning. As one who knows little to nothing about either the LDS church and the Masons, I found this history, comparison and contrasts to be both enlightening and entertaining. I recommend this book highly.
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This is the book I wish had been available when working on my own study of early Mormonism more than a decade ago. Not perfect, but a major step forward.
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Informative and well written, this book is sure to top the list of books that address the Mormon Masonic connection.
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Well done Homer does his research...I am familiar with both the Masins and the Church.
A good read.
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