Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons

Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Mason by Matthew B. Brown
(Summary taken from the inside book jacket) “Why did Joseph Smith become a Freemason? Who introduced Freemasonry into Nauvoo, Illinois, in the early 1840’s? Do the Masons really descend from the stonemasons who built King Solomon’s temple? Is there an ancient relationship between the Masonic lodge rites and the Mormon temple ordinances? The subject of Joseph Smith and Freemasonry sparks a wide range of responses among Latter-day Saints, from curiosity to suspicion to outright excitement. In this helpful guide, trusted LDS scholar Matthew B. Brown clearly and skillfully addresses the subject’s history, theology, traditional understanding, and myths. Readers will consider provocative questions as well as meaningful scriptural patterns and interfaith connections. With research ranging from the particular to the panoramic, this volume offers engaging, edifying exploration of the relationship between Freemasonry and the blessings of the House of the Lord, and early Christianity and the practices of biblical times.”
I’m not a crazy conspiratorial person, but the Masons have always intrigued me. I wanted to read this book because it sounded interesting. It actually was. I had no idea that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Hyrum Smith, and other early apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were Masons. My knowledge of the Masons came mostly from the History channel documentaries and Dan Brown’s books. I knew that some of the symbols of both groups were similar, but I didn’t know what they meant to the Masons. This book is very thorough and well researched. It is easy to understand and well-laid out. I found it engaging and informational. I liked it and I learned a lot about Masons and their symbols, their history, and some of their members who were prominent in the early LDS church. I would recommend this book to those of either group who would like to learn more. Yes, I would recommend this book. It dispels many common myths and helps to find the truth.
Rating: PG
Recommendation: High School and Up

Believing Christ

Believing Christ by Stephen E. Robinson
(Summary taken from the book jacket) “In Believing Christ, Stephen E. Robinson eloquently discusses the marvelous news of the gospel: what Jesus Christ has done for us. Using examples from people’s lives and modern-day analogies and parables to illustrate scriptural principles, he explains the doctrines of atonement, grace, justification, salvation, and perfection so clearly and understandably one need never be confused by them again. ‘The good news of the gospel is good news to me not because it promises that other people who are better than I am can be saved, but because it promises that I can be saved–wretched, inadequate, and imperfect me. And until I accept that possibility, …I have not really accepted the good news of the gospel.'”

I remember when this book came out and everyone read it and said how good it was….except for me. For some reason I never read it, and I wish I had. This book is amazing! My whole life I have felt guilty about not being able to do everything in the gospel perfectly all the time (let’s just say…family history). After reading this I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I now know that it is okay if I’m not perfect at family history right now as long as I am doing my best. As long as I try my hardest and do my best, and continually stretch myself just a little, then I know I will be okay. Wow. What a relief. I might go so far as to say this book is “life changing.” He puts it in so many ways that if you don’t understand it at first, by the end you will because there is an example that would relate to everyone. I wish I had read it years ago!

Rating: PG (It’s a little deep for younger readers, but I would still let them read it.)

Recommendation: 12 and up. And yes, I would have everyone read it! I loved this book!