180 years ago today - Oct 2, 1842

The non-Mormon Masons of Illinois, hearing of the rapid growth of the Masonic lodge in Nauvoo, meet on this day to discuss this growth. The original dispensation granted by Grandmaster Jonas the previous October (which was to last only one year) is not renewed, and the Nauvoo lodge is placed under suspension until further investigation can be made. When the investigative committee reports its findings in October of 1843, the Saints are accused of advancing new Masons too rapidly, nominating and advancing a whole group of men without any indication of individual worthiness. Joseph Smith is also accused of copying Masonic ritual in the temple ordinances, and when the endowments are given to women, he is accused of initiating women into Masonry. Joseph's comment concerning this is that "free masonry was the apostatereligion." In October 1844 the Grandmaster decides that the Nauvoo Lodge has still not reformed; therefore, all official fellowship is cut off with the Nauvoo lodges. Thus, when Joseph is murdered by a mob, some of whom were certainly Masons, Joseph has been cut off from all official Masonic vows of fellowship and loyalty.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology; David E. and Della S. Miller, Nauvoo: The City of Joseph 104-5.]

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