The Temple Ceremony
The Mormon temple ceremony compares quite precisely with the Masonic ceremony—signs, tokens, and penalties included. However, some changes to the LDS temple ceremony were instituted in April of 1990 to make it less frightening to initiates.
Joseph, Hyrum, Brigham, and others were Masons. Six weeks after Joseph Smith had received his “sublime (Masonic) degree” (see History of the Church, vol. 4:552) he introduced his followers to a very similar ceremony, announcing that he had “received [it] as a revelation from God.” Dr. Reed Durham, Director of the LDS Institute of Religion, made public his discovery when he spoke on the subject of the Mormon-Mason connection to the Utah History Association on April 20, 1974. He was later highly criticized for making this matter public.
Dr. Durham also showed Joseph’s Jupiter talisman and explained that Joseph had carried it on his person from 1826 on (the same year he was convicted of money-digging charges and being a believer in magic) and that the Jupiter talisman was found on him at the time of his death. Other magical items, which belonged to Hyrum Smith, were exposed at the same time. The Patriarch of the Church, Eldred G. Smith, direct descendant of Hyrum Smith, supposedly has them in his possession.
By the way, what has happened to the office of the Patriarch to the Church, a position last held by Patriarch Eldred G. Smith?
Of the patriarchs to the church the Lord says “He shall hold the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people.” As one of the General Authorities, the patriarch to the Church stands next in order to the members of the Council of the Twelve. (Mormon Doctrine, 1966 ed., pp. 560-61; D&C 124:91-94)
Who now holds the keys of the patriarchal blessings “upon the heads of all my people?”