What does the Masonic beehive mean

Masonic symbols and the LDS temple

by Sandra Tanner

(translated by Manfred Trzoska)


In the spring of 2002, the LDS Church completed its rebuilding of the Nauvoo Temple in Illinois. It was originally built in the 1840s but was destroyed after the Mormons abandoned the city. Because of the propaganda and photos related to the new temple, many people have inquired about the symbols on the building.


To understand the symbols, one must first understand some of Joseph Smith's involvement with Freemasonry. Joseph's brother, Hyrum, had been a Freemason since the 1820s. Many other LDS Church members, such as Brigham Young, were Freemasons before joining Mormonism. LDS historian Reed Durham noted:


“By 1840, John Cook Bennet, a former active leader in Freemasonry in Commerce [Nauvoo] arrived and very quickly exercised his convincing leadership in all facets of the Church, including Mormon Freemasonry ... Joseph and Sidney [Rigdon] became. .. on the same day ... introduced to formal Freemasonry. "("Is There No Help for the Widow's Son?", by Dr. Reed Durham Jun., As in Joseph Smith and Freemasonry: No Help for the Widow's Son, Martin Pub. Co., Nauvoo, Ill., 1980, p. 17, reprinted.)


Reed Durham also commented:


“I have tried so far to demonstrate that the Masonic influences on Joseph were significant in the early church history that preceded his formal membership in Freemasonry ... In fact, I believe there are few significant developments in the Church that after March 15, 1842 entered, which were not Masonic in mutual dependency. "(Joseph Smith and Masonry: No Help for the Widow's Son, P. 17)


The History of the Church reports Smith's entry into the Masonic Lodge in 1842:


“Tuesday 15th — I officiated as Grand Chaplain for the establishment of the Masonic Nauvoo Lodge in the grove near the temple. Grand Master Jonas, from Columbus, was present, a large number of people gathered on the occasion. The day was extraordinarily beautiful; all things were properly done and general satisfaction was shown. That evening, I received my first degree in Freemasonry in the Nauvoo Lodge that gathered in my main business office. ”(History of the Church, from Joseph Smith, Deseret Book, 1978, Vol. 4, chap. 32, pp. 550-551)


The next day, Smith reported:


"Wednesday, March 16 - I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the Exalted Degree."History of the Church, Vol. 4, chap. 32, p. 552)


Mormon entanglement in Freemasonry peaked in Nauvoo in the early 1840s. In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism let's read:


The establishment of Freemasonry in Nauvoo had political and religious backgrounds ... Eventually 1,500 LDS men were associated with the Illinois Freemasons, including many members of the ruling body of the Church - at a time when the total number of non-LDS Masons in Illinois lodges only reached 150. "(Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2, p. 527)


The Salt Lake Tribune (May 4, 2002, p. C3) printed a picture of the original weather vane of the Nauvo Temple, which shows the Masonic symbol of the compass and the right angle above the angel. Reporter Peggy Stack wrote:


“Every detail of the historic Nauvootempe has been meticulously reconstructed [on the new Nauvootempe], with one exception: the flying angel weather vane that adorned the top of the 19th century Mormon building.

In its place is the gold-leaf angel Moroni, which was first used on the Salt Lake Temple ...

Some speculate that the horizontal angel with its compass and right angle could be too closely associated with the Masonic rituals for modern Mormons. "Salt Lake Tribune, May 4, 2002, p. C3)




Original drawing by the architect of the Nauvo Temple weather vane.

Notice the compasses and the right angle above the angel.


Reed Durham noted:


“To me, there is absolutely no question that the Mormon ceremony known as the Endowment, initially introduced by Joseph Smith to Mormon Freemasons a little over a month after he became a Freemason, received direct inspiration from Freemasonry ...


Architect's drawing of the stars for the Temple of Nauvo.


It is also evident that Nauvo temple architecture was at least partially Masonic influenced. In fact, it appears that there was a deliberate attempt to take advantage of Masonic symbols and motifs. The sun stones and the moon and star stones would be examples. Another example was the angel used on the weather vane at the top of the temple. [Above the angel] there is a wonderful 'compass and right angle' in the typical Masonic style. "(Joseph Smith and Masonry: No Help for the Widow's Son, P. 18)


Compass and right angle as used in Freemasonry.


Additional details of the Nauvo temple symbols and pictures of the building can be found in the Deseret News 2002-2002 Church Almanac (see pp. 120-141). On page 135 of the Almanac there is a photograph of one of the original sunstones that were placed on top of the pillars around the outside of the temple. A photo of a sunstone is also in Fawn Brodie's book No Man Knows My History, P. 298 (b)


One of the original sunstones of the Nauvoo Temple


The Nauvoo sunstone with its human face is similar to the Masonic images of the sun. Below is an illustration from the Masonic Book The Craft and Its Symbols, P. 75:


Masonic symbols have been depicted and discussed in a number of books. Albert Pike discusses in his book Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry various masonic symbols and their meaning.

In the book The Craft and Its Symbols: Opening the Door to Masonic Symbolism, by Allen E. Roberts, p. 11, there is a drawing of the Masonic apron presented to President George Washington by Lafayette. The symbols on the apron that were later used by the Mormon include a beehive, the all-seeing eye, the compass and the right angle, and the sun, moon and stars.


The Masonic monitor, 1820, included an illustration of Masonic symbols. This drawing is very similar to Washington's apron.


Many Masonic symbols (sun, moon, stars, the all-seeing eye, beehive, handshake) were also attached to the Salt Lake Temple.


Symbols on the front of the Salt Lake Temple.


One of the more well-known symbols of Mormonism is the beehive. Examples of the pioneers' use of the beehive can be seen at Brigham Young's house (known as the Beehive House) in Salt Lake City.


Top of the beehive house.


Beehive house with the Eagle Gate (Adlertor) next to it.


The beehive is also depicted on the door handles of the Salt Lake Temple.


One of the brass door handles in the Salt Lake Temple depicting the beehive.


Most people do not know that the beehive was a Masonic symbol years before Joseph Smith began his Church. Masonic historian Allen E. Roberts explains:


“The beehive, Masonic, is a sign of diligence ... When and why the bee found its way into Freemasonry as a symbol, nobody knows ... In the book The Early Masonic Catechisms the bee is mentioned in Freemasonry as early as 1724 ... "(The Craft and Its Symbols, by Allen E. Roberts, Macoy Pub., 1974, p. 73)


While many people are aware of the symbols used on the Salt Lake Temple, they were also used on other LDS buildings in Utah (see “Where Are All The All-Seeing Eyes?", Sunstone Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 5, May 1985)


LDS researcher Michael Homer discussed Mormon use of Masonic symbols:


“Even after the turn of the century and the abandonment of polygamy, the same comparison was made [with Freemasonry]. The First Presidency, in a message dated October 15, 1911, stated that "because of their Masonic nature, the ceremonies of the temple are sacred and not open to the public." Mormon use of Masonic symbols has also been publicly admitted. Mormons are hardly discreet in their depictions of symbols associated with Freemasonry ... including the right angle, the compass, the sun, the moon and stars, the beehive, the all-seeing eye, more ritual Handles, two intertwined triangles that form a six-pointed star ... and a number of other symbols on endowment houses, temples, department stores, gravestones, tabernacles, church meeting houses, newspaper heads, hotels, residences, on money, in logos and seals. "("Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry ": The Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism by Michael W. Homer, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall 1994, p. 73)


Even after the Mormons came to Utah, Brigham Young continued to wear his Masonic pin, which depicts a compass and square.


In addition to these symbols, the LDS Church continues to use the inverted five-pointed star. The recently completed Nauvo Temple has numerous windows that use it. To see pictures, see links:

The inverted star was also used on the Salt Lake Temple above the front doors


above the upper arched windows on the north and south sides, on the Eagle Gate Monument (above State Street and South Temple in Salt Lake City),


on the planters in front of the Christ statue in the Salt Lake Visitor Center


and on the front entrance, in the upper left corner, of the LDS History Museum (west of Temple Square).


While the inverted star is used in Freemasonry, it is also used by Satanists.


The circle and square are also embroidered on the LDS temple underwear (worn daily by LDS believers). These look like small zigzag seams that form a “V” on the left breast and an “L” on the right breast of the garment. There are also small, sewn lines above the navel and right knee. These are found on the underwear of both men and women. The garment is said to be worn daily to remind Mormons of the covenants made in the temple.

As the LDS Church rejects the use of the cross as a religious symbol, one wonders why they are adopting symbols used by Freemasons and Satanists.

In trying to explain the similarities between Mormonism and Freemasonry, one LDS author wrote:


“Freemasons who visit the Salt Lake City Temple Block are impressed by what they call Masonic symbols on display on the outside of the Mormon Temple.

Yes, the 'Masonic symbols' are displayed on the walls of the temple - the sun, the moon and the stars, 'Holiness the Lord', the two joining hands in communion, the all-seeing eye, Alpha and Omega and the beehive. Masonic scribes tell us that the Mormon temple ritual and their own are slightly similar in some ways.

Without excuses, we openly admit that there is some truth in these statements. ”(Mormonism and Masonry, Introduction, by E. Cecil McGavin, Bookcraft, 1956)


Later, in the same book, Mr. McGavin explains:


“In the diary of Benjamin F. Johnson, a dear friend and comrade of Joseph Smith, it is reported: 'Joseph told me that Freemasonry was the apostate endowment, a sectarian religion is the apostate religion.' Elder Heber C. Kimball, who had been a Freemason for many years, shared that after Joseph Smith became a Freemason, he taught his brethren that Freemasonry had been taken from the priesthood ”(Mormonism and Masonry, P. 199)


The problem with Mr. McGavin's position is that neither the Masonic nor the Mormon rituals can be shown to date back to King Solomon's temple. In fact, most historians place the beginning of female masonry in the 18th century. LDS author Michael Homer wrote:


“Before 1860, most Freemasons accepted the legends that claimed they originated in ancient times. Although these claims have been challenged by most anti-Masonic scribes in the United States ... most Masonic scribes refused to take these claims with caution until 'a school of English explorers' began, the Lodge Protocols, Ancient Rituals, and Congregational Reports to evaluate. Eventually, this movement pushed the view from the pedestal that the rituals practiced in Speculative Freemasonry had their origins before the sixteenth century. Gould and others argued that the best evidence suggests that Operational Freemasonry originated from craft guilds in the Middle Ages and that the development of Speculative Freemasonry, with ceremonies and rituals similar to those practiced today, began in the seventeenth century .. The rituals of Freemasonry have never been static but have evolved in relation to time and place. For example, only rituals after 1760 contained separate obligations for degrees associated with signs, punishments, marks and words, the form found in most subsequent rituals, and the same format followed in the Mormon temple endowment. ”(“ Similarity of Priesthood in Masonry ", Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 27, No. 3, Fall 1994, pp. 103-104)


Since Freemasonry dates back to the 1700s and Joseph Smith was a Freemason before he instituted LDS temple rituals and built the Nauvu Temple, one is forced to conclude that the similarities between the two groups are due to Smith, the elements of the Freemasonry borrowed.

You can find more information on our page: Captain Morgan and the Masonic Influence in Mormonism.