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SERGIO - Why have so many leaders and presidents in the church been freemasons if this is a secret society that, according to many sorces, teaches that lucifer is the one who cares for people and who gave human race the light and knowledge? Even a stake president who is a member of this society told me that it is true and that in the last deegres of fremasonry they teach people to use licifer energies or something like that in rituals.

JOEL - There is no truth to this rumor that started back in 1897 and has persisted only in the minds of the critics of freemasonry. The Stake president you spoke to gave you incorrect information. Because Freemasonry happens to uses a few symbols that have also been associated with satan worshipping, many have assumed that the symbols mean the same in Freemasonry as well; they are wrong. The symbols used in Freemasonry have their own distinct meanings that have nothing to do with satan.

Many early church leaders were Masonic members. Joseph Smith had reason to expect that the Saints might benefit from the network of friendship and support normally associated with this fraternal organization. On March 15 1841, Joseph Smith received the first degree of Freemasonry. By August of 1842 nearly 1,500 LDS men became associated with Illinois Freemasonry, including many members of the Church's governing priesthood bodies.

Joseph Smith participated minimally in Freemasonry and, as far as is known, attended the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge on only three occasions. In April of 1845 Brigham Young decided to discontinue the Nauvoo Lodge of Masons. Very few church members have been involved in the fraternity since then.

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