[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: Theos-World To Larry, Masonic/Egyptian connection and Smith.

Mar 02, 2002 07:39 AM
by Larry F Kolts

Hi Brigitte,

Thanks for the post on "Invented Egypt" as well as this reply

I am usually not in favor of long posts, but this reply may be a little
longer than normal.

Also, for those who wonder why we are spending all this time on Mormons,
I will try to draw some parallels.

This historical basis for Smith and the Mormons is as convoluted as is
the HPB story. We will never know the actual truth of it, but can look at
what we do know.

The first thing you should know is the story of the actual papyrus
manuscript. Found in Egypt and later sold to Smith along with some
mummies, the manuscript is a basic Egyptian
funerary text or BOOK OF BREATHINGS that also had pasted on documents on
the front and back covers that was a different sort of writing. It is
these two documents that are the "facimiles" that Smith copied and are
included in the BOOK of ABRAHAM and are the supposed source for that
book. As stated earlier, the actual funerary text relates more to the
Mormon temple endowment. Now in the midst of all the persecution and
general confusion following Smith's murder in 1844 and the expulsion from
Illinois in 1846, those original documents were lost to the Mormon
Church. They surfaced again in 1967 when discovered in a NYC museum and
were at that time returned to the Church and sent to Hugh Nibley at BYU
for translation. Be aware that in Smith's day, no one could actually
translate heiroglyphics, so no one had a shot at them until Nibley got a
hold of them in the 60's. Thus Brodie nor anyone else really knew what
they were all about.

Now for some personalities.

Fawn McKay Brodie was the daughter of Thomas E McKay and the niece of
David O McKay. Her uncle had been a Mormon Apostle since 1906 and from
1951-1970 at his death at 96 yrs of age was the President, Prophet, Seer
and Revelator of the Church and thus the head honcho at the time she
first came out with her book, while her father was an Assistant to the
Twelve, a position just under that of the apostles. Thus you can imagine
the scandle that broke when she had NO MAN KNOWS MY HISTORY published.

Hugh Nibley was/is the Mormon's chief apologist. His writings are legion,
everything from historical commentary to defences of the BOOK OF MORMON
and the BOOK OF ABRAHAM. When Brodie issued her work, Nibley was quick to
reply with his own NO MA'AM THATS NOT HISTORY, which turned into a
running feud not unlike what has been going back and forth between you
and Daniel.

Nibley accused Brodie of bringing up long dead material from early quote
by anti-Mormons and Mormon apostates with no real original thought. In
the case of the BOOK OF ABRAHAM, he is right, any real original
discussion has to come from the 1970's or later, involving discussion,
citicism and defence of Nibley's writings. And there's a lot of that.

Brodie was excommunicated for her efforts.

Now-most of what we talk about is the "how it was done". What is is what
is. We have an ISIS and a SD as well as a BOOK OF ABRAHAM. They exist.
What we discuss is how they came about.

Permit me to create an example from a neutral environment. A man has in
his possession a very valuable postage stamp. He claims he found it on an
envelop in an old trunk in the attic of a house he bought. Someone else
says he stloe it from an existing collection. Another calims he was given
it to fulfill a debt. The man is branded a liar, a cheat and a thief.
Others come to defence saying he is an honest man. The debate rages on
for decades and the truth is never really known, all parties honestly
believing thay ahve the true picture of things. Yet in spite of all this
dicussion, THERE IS THE STAMP. It exists. Everyone is more interested in
how it got into the man's possession than in the stamp itself.

Are we like that? That's why I say I don't care that much as to how HPB
exactly managed to write ISIS and SD. TO me what is IN those books is
more important than how they came to be. In the end it still comes down
to faith. We either believe those things are true or we don't. We will
NEVER resolve the truth of it. Oh, it's fun, but ultimately will sway one
side or the other very little. Each will continue to look through their
own glasses and see the object as they do.

My interest here has been, just how much did Joseph Smith know? I also
wonder at the cultural interpretation of things. HPB claims messages from
the Masters of Wisdom, Joseph Smith from Gods and Angels. I am reminded
of a favorite line of Krishnamuti's that "THE WORD IS NOT THE THING"
Since I no longer believe in the exclusive right to inspiration or
authority, I can conclude that Smith had SOME inspiration and was going
in the right direction, but was cut off before he finished. HPB got a lot
further. Maybe K and other add to that. I say, take each for what thay
are worth. Like Aryel Sanat, I don't believe K's message detracts from
theosophy or vice versa. I see them as complimentary.
As for Joseph Smith and the Mormons, I view that as a personal stepping
stone that helped prepare me for theosophy when the time came. I do
regret I did nor discover theosopht much earlier, even twenty years
earlier, but what is is what is.

If you have specific questions on this, I'll try to answer. When I left
the Mormon, I also gave up my two thousand plus volume library of books
on Mormon and realated subjects but I kept my many volume of notes and
have an excellent memory for history. Plus much is on line.

I'll get back to you on evaluating those sites you mentioned


On Sat, 02 Mar 2002 02:12:53 -0000 "bri_mue" <> writes:
> What then can concrete be said (so far) regarding the biographical 
> circumstances of this Masonic/Egyptian connection in Smith's life ?
> And not a Mormon scolar myself, may I pls ask also for your opinion, 
> which of the links that show up on the Google search : "Joseph 
> Smith+Cagliostro" and ""Joseph Smith+Masonic/Egyptian" contain some 
> of the more accurate historical information ? 
> Thank you,
> Bri. 
> --- In theos-talk@y..., Larry F Kolts <llkingston2@j...> wrote:
> > Hi Brigitte,
> > 
> > I checked out those sites you posted. There is some interesting 
> material
> > there.
> > 
> > Brigitte: Masonic connections and Smith have been well established 
> but
> > what do 
> > > 
> > > you think about the rumours about a Memphis-Misraim 
> or "Cagliostro"
> > > type Masonic influence ? 
> > 
> > Joseph Smith's theology/cosmology went through three distinct 
> stages
> > 
> > 1- BOOK OF MORMON stage. In 1820 14 yr old Smith calimed to have 
> heavenly
> > messages. In 1823 he began having regular visits from the Angel 
> Moroni
> > (sort of his Master) which led to his claim to finding gold plate
> from
> > which the BofM was translated and published in 1830.
> > 
> > 2-BOOK OF MOSES stage. In the early 1830's, Smith began what he 
> called an
> > "inspired revision" of the Bible. He altered many verses and added 
> many
> > other, all from what he claimed was divine inspiration. Most of
> this 
> was
> > never completed, but the early part of Genesis was fairly 
> "revised"
> and
> > was published as the BOOK OF MOSES.
> > 
> > 3-BOOK OF ABRAHAM stage. From 1835 to his death in 1844, Smith 
> was most
> > involved with manuscripts he discovered among some Egyptian 
> mummies he
> > had purchased. These turn out to be a "BOOK OF BREATHINGS" from 
> which
> > Smith wrote the BOOK OF ABRAHAM and also most of the temple 
> ritual. Smith
> > was a masom, but not very high up in that order, while his brother 
> Hyrum
> > and Brigham Young were. It is believed that Joseph worked out the 
> basic
> > endowment formula and doctrine but that Brigham fleshed out the 
> ritual,
> > using the basic masonic formula with which he was familiar. An
> > interesting Mormon apology is Hugh Nibley's THE MESSAGE OF THE 
> > THE EGYPTIAN ENDOWMENT, in which he translates the BOOK OF 
> > shows how it relates to a progressional ritual which any Mormon in
> the
> > know will recognize as very similar to the temple endowment 
> ritual. 
> This
> > is the Masonic/Egyptian connection as I know it.
> > 
> > BTY, both the BOOK OF MOSES and the BOOK OF ABRAHAM are 
> contained in the
> > Mormon PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, which is on line
> > 
> > Larry
> > 
> ____________________________________________________________
> ____
> > Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
> > Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:
> >
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to 

Juno offers FREE or PREMIUM Internet access for less!
Join Juno today! For your FREE software, visit:

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application