RFM and Bill Reel will sit down with author Cheryl Bruno to discuss her book “Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration”.
Synopsis of her book – “While no one thing can entirely explain the rise of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the historical influence of Freemasonry on this religious tradition cannot be refuted. Those who study Mormonism have been aware of the impact that Freemasonry had on the founding prophet Joseph Smith during the Nauvoo period, but his involvement in Freemasonry was arguably earlier and broader than many modern historians have admitted. The fact that the most obvious vestiges of Freemasonry are evident only in the more esoteric aspects of the Mormon faith has made it difficult to recognize, let alone fully grasp, the relevant issues. Even those with both Mormon and Masonic experience may not be versed in the nineteenth-century versions of Masonry’s rituals, legends, and practices. Without this specialized background, it is easy to miss the Masonic significance of numerous early Mormon ordinances, scripture, and doctrines. Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration offers a fresh perspective on the Masonic thread present in Mormonism from its earliest days. Smith’s firsthand knowledge of and experience with both Masonry and anti-Masonic currents contributed to the theology, structure, culture, tradition, history, literature, and ritual of the religion he founded.”
Cheryl’s Book – https://www.amazon.com/Method-Infinite-Freemasonry-Mormon-Restoration/dp/1589587537
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As a college freshman in 1978, I faithfully followed my college basketball “brothers” by pledging their fraternity, Chi Phi, despite reservations.
My reservations centered on my gelling commitment to faithfully follow my actual Mormon convert brothers by “pledging” the LDS Church.
To make this short and apropos … The frat’s ultimate initiation ceremony was just a bit creepy. Since you couldn’t quit, I quietly transferred to another university and was free to “pledge” and join the local Mormon church.
But it wasn’t until 5 years later, on the eve of marriage, that I encountered the Mormon temple “initiation” ritual … Surprise! It was disturbingly similar to the creepy frat version – made worse by the fact these guys really took it seriously. Only much later did I piece together the likely common connections to Free Masonry.
We’ll, I could tolerate just one more temple visit … this was still the 80s …. and while It wasn’t as easy – or desirable – to “transfer” away from family who all remain in the Mormon fraternity, I could at least resign while continuing to hold and value the deeper ties and common ground that we are all able to abide with respect, friendship, and love.
And now, stumbling across this podcast, I’m intrigued to gain a deeper understanding of Free Masonry’s role in Mormonism when my copy of Method Infinite arrives – and of Free Masonry itself.
Thank you Ms. Bruno (and co-authors) for your work. This book will find its place among the few discretely stored works of Mormon scholarship that have helped me better understand and appreciate this “fine mess I’ve gotten [myself] into.” (A dated reference worthy of RFM?)