Msg#: 139             Pvt                          Date: 04-12-96  08:26
  From: Jay Fuller                                   Read: Yes    Replied: No 
    To: Ric Carter                                   Mark:                     
  Subj: MesoAmerican "north"
* Reply to a message in mythology.

Ric Carter wrote in a message to All:

 RC> First, the disclaimers: I'm not a Mormon.
 RC> And I have other reasons for not taking the LDS too seriously. 

First the disclaimer: I am a Mormon. Not practicing, nor even a half-decent
example of one... :> I also have many a reason to share your attitude towards
the religion. 
 RC> Still, the Mormon myth-system is interesting.

Quite true! That is why I'm dropping you this note.  If you are interested
in other aspects of the religion's founding, perhaps you'll find the following
of some value.

As well as being Mormon, I am also a Mason, which has an interesting mythology
in itself, but that's another matter... The LDS church has several "secret"
temple rituals that are closed to the public, and can only be attended by
member of the Priesthood of Elder or higher, and at times, female church
members (I think they have to be married to an elder, unsure). Much of the
ritual involved is quite similar to Masonic ritual. 

Naturally, my ties to both groups and the apparent similarities in ritual, my
interest was piqued. In talking to folks from both camps, there is some bad
blood between them, and each has their own version of the rift.
The LDS contend that in the 1800's a group of drunk Masons came from a meeting
and slaughtered a group of Mormons. The Masons claim various run-ins with
Brigham Young and his group. I also have heard that Joseph Smith -was- a Grand
Master Mason in the 1820's. As the story is told, as a Grand Master he had the
power to make anyone a "Mason on Sight", meaning the gentleman did not need to
go through the normal "degree" process to become a Mason, but was afforded the
"same rights and responsibilities of a Mason from that point forward". In
short, he made so many Masons on Sight, the Grand Lodge got ticked and
stripped him of his powers. Soon after, the Mormon church was born with
strangely familiar ritual...

I'd be interested in any info in the same vein you might be able to send my