[TL;DR: There is no way the temple ties back to the temple of Solomon. The Masons formed in the 1400s forward. Yes, the dates line up for the temple to be taken directly from the masons… lots lots more]
Sections in this post:
Ancient temples – A
Masonic Timeline- M
Garment related- G
Endowment Related- E
Sealings and polygamy related- S
Miscellaneous dates- D
Notes with no date- N
These will be mixed together with the indicators included:
Circa 1000 BC (M) – Hiram Abiff is born according to masonic lore
968 BC (A) – Solomon’s Temple Constructed
715 BC (M/A) – Numa Pompilius (the second King of Rome) organizes Roman workers into various collegia. He attaches one to each legion of the army so that Roman arms and arts go hand in hand into the outlying parts of the Empire. The stone workers, or masons, are the most numerous because of their use in defense works, and so become the most powerful. Each collegia has at least three members. They use their tools as symbols and look after the widows and orphans of members. Masons tie to this parallelism for early roots originally
715-657 BC (A) – Hezekiah reforms Temple. Many scholars believe Old Testament prior to this is re-organized by committee to fit his needs. Whatever the Templar might have recovered would have been Hezekiah’s altered temple rites
586 BC (A) – Nebuchadnezzar destroys Solomon’s Temple
515 BC (A) –Zerubbabel’s reconstruction of Temple complete
175-164 BC (A) – Antiochus Epiphanes profanes the Temple, dedicates it to Zeus
1104 (T/M) – Count Hugh of Champagne visits Jerusalem
1114 (T/M) – Count Hugh of Champagne returns to Jerusalem and is accompanied by his vassal, Hugues de Payens, who remains in Jerusalem with eight other knights
1119 (T/M) – On Christmas day, Hugues de Payens and eight knights take a vow of poverty, chastity and obedience before the Patriarch in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and become the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Jesus Christ. The Knights Templar are conceived
1183 (D) – Richard III goes on Crusade, leaving Prince John in charge at home (Robin Hood stories predate this, but who cares, right?)
24 October, 1307 (M/T) – Jacques DeMolay confesses to accusations under Torture as part of an Inquisition
1357 (M/T) –First recorded exhibition of the Shroud of Turin (now believed to be that of Jacques DeMolay, but originally attributed to Christ. Christ first gains a beard in paintings and stained glass windows after this date)
1376 (M) – Freemason and Mason Company of London is in existence as a craft guild. First use of the word “Freemason” recorded on August 9th, stricken through and replaced with “mason” (however, these are probably not connected to actual Freemasonry according to historians)
1390 (M) – The Regius Poem, or Manuscript (also known as the Halliwell Manuscript), is written or copied from older manuscripts. It is written in Middle English, and is said to be based on the instructions for a parish priest or Urbanitas, a book of instruction on deportment and hygiene. This is the origination for the “Masonic Ceremony” as known. Of note, no mention of Hiram Abiff, but instead focuses on Euclid and Egypt
1463 (M) – The Worshipful Company of Masons of the City of London erects its first Meeting Hall
1583 (M) – The Grand Lodge No. 1 Manuscript is written. Now in the possession of the United Grand Lodge of England, this is the third oldest of the existing manuscripts relating to Freemasonry and could be said to be the one the modern rite is based on
5 November, 1605 (D) – Guy Fawkes
1610 (D) – Galileo makes public his view of the Solar System
1656 (M) – John Aubrey begins writing A Natural History of Wiltshire in which he states that “the Fraternity of Free-Masons are known to one another by certain signs and watch words, and other significant words,” and also described them as “adopted masons” and “accepted masons.” His history is not published until 1847
1696 (M) – First recorded mention of the five points of fellowship in the Edinburgh Register. The concept that this is ancient, when it didn’t exist in masonry (no indication prior) until 1696, is laughable
1717 (M) – Grand Lodge formed A Short History of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by Louis C. King (privately published, 1983)
1725 (M) – First mention of a “Master Mason in conjunction with a degree.” Third Degree masons clearly mentioned in 1726. Source: “Philo-Musicæ et Architecture Societas Apollini [A Review],” Ars Quatuor Coronatorum 16 (1903), pp. 112-28. It makes reference to a Charles Cotton and a Papillon Ball who were made Master Masons on May 12, 1725. Anderson’s Constitutions makes reference to “Master Masons” existing at the formation of the Premiere Grand Lodge in 1717. Sloane MS 3329 (ca. 1700) and Trinity College Dublin MS (1711) both make reference to elements of the Master’s degree. From this, we can conclude that the Master’s degree existed in some form before 1725
30 July, 1733 (M) – First Masonic Lodge in America (Boston) formed
1733 (M) – Benjamin Franklin reprinted Anderson’s Book of Constitutions. This was the first Masonic book published in America
30 July, 1733 (M) -First Masonic Temple in America erected in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1739 (M) – [Updated to add this one] Samuel Prichard publishes Masonry Dissected with the first mention or creation of the third degree
18 May, 1751 (M) – Pope Benedict XIV issues Providas against the craft, Inquisition arrests and punishes members
2 July, 1751 (M) – King Ferdinand VI suppresses the order in Spain
17 July, 1751 (M) – Schism “Grand Lodge of England” is formed known as the “moderns”
1754 (M) – First use of the term “Sublime Degree of a Master Mason”
4 July, 1776 (D/M) – American Independence. Declaration was signed by 13 freemasons
7 May, 1818 – Joseph Smith Sr. becomes a freemason (Ontario Lodge No. 23 of Canandaigua, New York) source: Rough Stone Rolling
1822 (D) – Rosetta Stone translated in Paris allowing Egyptian to be understood
1824 (M) – King Ferdinand VII of Spain decrees on 1st August the death of all Freemasons without trial
22 September, 1826 (M) – Lucinda Morgan, William Morgan’s wife, says he had a scribe. Oliver Cowdery likely candidate. Source: Samuel D. Greene’s 1870 book, The Broken Seal…, pp. 89-90
1830 (D) – Book of Mormon Published, “Church of Christ” established
3 August, 1831 – Independence temple lot dedicated
18 May, 1834 (S) – Joseph Smith, writes “…your husband until death” in letter to Emma (no concept of eternal marriage)
July 1835 – Purchase of Book of Abraham Papyri
27 March, 1836 – Kirtland Temple Open – Joseph Smith dedicating
1835-1836 – Kirtland temple marriages open to non-members. Source: The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 1835-1836
26 April, 1838 – Far West Temple announced
October 1838 – Adam-ondi-Ahman Temple
1838 – Lucinda Pendleton Morgan, wife of William Morgan; writer of the exposé on free masonry marries Joseph Smith (evidence is scarce. Two sources, Sarah Pratt and Jenson claimed it). source: No Man Knows my History, Fawn Brodie
4 November, 1838 (S) -“If I do not meet you again in this life may God grant that we may somehow meet in heaven.” Letter to Emma from Carthage Jail
1840 – Biography of Lucy Mack Smith written, mentioning “Faculty of Abrac,” a Masonic Mystery. source: Refiner’s Fire, Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 157-158
19 January, 1841 – Baptism for the Dead introduced, not conducted in temple originally
15 October,1841 – The Grand Master of Illinois issued a dispensation to a lodge in Nauvoo, Illinois
1841 -William Morgan is baptized for the dead, by request of his wife
15 March, 1842 – Nauvoo Lodge granted. Joseph installed as grand chaplain. source: Evidences and Reconciliations, 1 volume, pp. 357-358
15 March, 1842 – “In the evening I received the first degree in Free Masonry in the Nauvoo Lodge, assembled in my general business office.” The record for the next day reads, “I was with the Masonic Lodge and rose to the sublime degree.” History of the Church Volume 4, page 552
17 March, 1842 – Relief Society organized in the Masonic Lodge. Included in the actual vocabulary of Joseph Smith’s counsel and instructions to the sisters were such words as: ancient orders, examinations, degrees, candidates, secrets, lodges, rules, signs, tokens, order of the priesthood, and keys; all indicating that the Society’s orientation possessed Masonic overtones.
4 May, 1842 (E) – Endowment administered for first time on upper floor of the Nauvoo Store (washing, anointing, clothing in garment, instruction in signs, tokens, keywords of holy priesthood)
A short time later, Joseph called seven of his leading men together and instructed them "in the principles and order of the Priesthood, attending to washings, anointings, endowments and the communication of keys " which Joseph said instituted the ancient order of things for the first time in these last days." History of the Church, 5:1–2;
August 1842 (M) – Nauvoo Masonic Lodge’s charter suspended
9 February, 1843 – Parley P. Pratt returns home from a mission, angry he has missed the endowment. D&C 129 given. History of the Church, 5:267
1843 – Eternal Marriage (Sealings) first performed
October 1843 (M) – Charters of the Nauvoo lodges arrested for irregularities in October
20 January, 1844 – Heber C. Kimball and wife, Vilate, recorded by Brigham Young to receive second anointing. Manuscript History of Brigham Young, p. 158, Wilford Woodruff diary for same date
27 June, 1844 – Joseph Smith Jr. dies. His last cry is “Will no man help the widow’s son” with his hands raised in a masonic sign. Star of Jupiter around his neck. The “mob” is the Warsaw militia containing freemasons
1844-1845 – Local Masonic lodges reject “Joseph’s Lodge” primarily for teaching masonry to women
1845 – Brigham Young gives the endowment as a ritual drama, with a creation room, garden room, Telestial room, Terrestrial room and Celestial room. This is the first time it is recorded as being a drama
22 January, 1846 – Lucinda Morgan (Harris) is sealed, by her own request, to Joseph Smith Jr. for eternity. Her Husband, George W. Harris, stood as proxy. The next day she is sealed to her husband for time.
1-3 May, 1846 – Nauvoo Temple Dedicated by Orson Hyde
11 January, 1846 – Heber and Vilate Kimball receive second anointing
11 January, 1846 – Brigham Young receives second anointing from Heber C. Kimball
9 April,1850 – Lucinda Morgan (Harris) is living separately from her husband, George
1852 – Polygamy formally announced
1853 – Orson Pratt publishes “27 Rules of Celestial Marriage,” clearly outlining that a celestial marriage must be polygamous
5 May, 1855 – Endowment House dedicated by Heber C. Kimball
1858 (D) – Rosetta stone translated into english
1860 – Lucinda Morgan dies, a member of the Catholic Sisters of Charity
1872 (M) – the Grand Lodge of Utah was formed as an openly anti-Mormon organization. Masons are not permitted to have leadership positions in church
6-8 April, 1877 – St. George Utah dedicated by Daniel H. Wells
1881 – William Bryant, an old neighbor of Oliver Cowdery in western NY, recalled, “He (Cowdery), was strong against the Masons; he helped to write Morgan’s [Anti-mason] book, [Lyman?] Cowdery was a strong Mason, so they all said; that is all the religion he had.” Interview published in the Saints’ Herald of June 1, 1881
1882 (S) – Edmunds Act outlaws polygamy
17-19 May, 1884 – Logan Utah Temple dedicated by John Taylor
21-23 May, 1888 – Manti Temple dedicated by Lorenzo Snow
8 December, 1890 (G) -“Sister Zina D. H. Young submitted a knitted garment something like our garments which is made in the East and asked if such may be marked & have a collar put on it and used as out Temple garment. It was decided by the First Presidency that such garments should not be used in lieu of the pattern given.” – L. John Nuttall Journal, Vol 3, p. 227; 8 December 1890
1890 (S) – Term “Celestial Marriage” now refers to more than Polygamy. Prior to this, one could be sealed in the temple and not have a celestial marriage
April, 1890 (G) -The Nauvoo Garment was decribed by Ebenezer Robinson in “The Return Vol II,” his periodical after being editor for The Times and Seasons.
6-24 April, 1893 –Salt Lake Temple dedicated by Wilford Woodruff
1893 – Church leaders order minor alterations to the language and procedures of the endowment, trying to ensure greater consistency in how the endowment is administered in different temples. Source: David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
1898 (G) – “Each individual should be provided with the endowment clothing they need. The garments must be clean and white, and of the approved pattern; they must not be altered or mutilated, and are to be worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankles, and around the neck. These requirements are imperative; admission to the Temple will be refused to those who do not comply therewith.” – President Joseph F. Smith, “Instructions Concerning Temple Ordinance Work,” President of the Salt Lake Temple 1898-1911
1904-1906 – The endowment is scrutinized during congressional hearings in the Reed Smoot trials. Focus on the “Oath of Vengeance.” David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
9 August, 1906 (G) – “The Lord has given unto us garments of the holy priesthood, and you know what that means. And yet there are those of us who mutilate them, in order that we may follow the foolish, vain and indecent practices of the world.” “In order that such people may imitate the fashions, they will not hesitate to mutilate that which should be held by them the most sacred of all things in the world, next to their own virtue, next to their own purity of life. They should hold these things that God has given unto them sacred, unchanged and unaltered from the very pattern in which God gave them. Let us have the moral courage to stand against the opinions of fashion, and especially where fashion compels us to break a covenant and so commit a grievous sin.” President Joseph F. Smith, “Fashion and the Violation of Covenants and Duty,” Improvement Era 9, August 1906, 812-815
1906 (G) – “The following is to be regarded as an established and imperative rule. The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white and of the approved pattern; they must not be altered or mutilated, and are to be worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankles and around the neck. Admission to the temple will be refused to those who do not comply to these requirements.” “The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from Heaven and that the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their form or in the manner of wearing them.” Messages of the First Presidency 5:110; President Joseph F. Smith; 28 June 1906
1916 (G) -“The garments worn by those who receive endowments must be white and of the approved pattern. They must not be altered and mutilated and are to be worn as intended, down to the wrist and ankle, and around the neck. Admission to the temple will be refused those who do not comply with these requirements. The Saints should know that the pattern of endowment garments was revealed from heaven, and the blessings promised in connection with wearing them will not be realized if any unauthorized change is made in their form or in the manner of wearing them.” President of the Church, Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era 9:812, 28 June 1916
1919-1927 – A committee appointed by Heber J. Grant produces a revised endowment to be used in all temples. Changes include:
Eliminating the oath of vengeance.
Omitting graphic descriptions from the penalties.
Reducing the number of times the robes of the priesthood are changed from one shoulder to the other.
Discontinuing temple choirs (who had formerly performed the hymn chosen by Lucifer’s preacher), in favor of congregational singing.
1 October, 1922 (G) – George B. Richards’s questions raised after a conversation with Sister Maria Dougall in October 1922. At that time he learned that Joseph Smith had not designed the garments and temple clothing
1923 (G) – Committee formed to research origins of garment under First Presidency direction
5 April, 1923 (G) – In fact, a group of sisters led by Emma Smith and including Bathsheba Smith had fashioned both the garments and the temple clothing, and presented them to Joseph Smith for his approval. The collar on the garments had been put on because the sisters could think of no other way to finish it at the top, and they added ties because they had no buttons. The original cap in the temple clothing had looked something like a crown, but Joseph Smith had them redesign it to look more like a baker’s cap
17 May, 1923 (G) – The Church approves a shorter garment for optional use outside the temple (extending to the elbows and knees rather than the wrists and ankles). However, the longer garment remains mandatory for use in the temple.
Letter from Heber J. Grant (First Presidency letter) “After careful and prayerful consideration it was unanimously decided that the following modifications may be permitted, and a garment of the following style be worn by those Church members who wish to adopt it, namely: (1) Sleeve to elbow. (2) Leg just below knee. (3) Buttons instead of strings. (4) Collar eliminated. (5) Crotch closed.
It may be observed that no fixed pattern of Temple garment has ever been given, and that the present style of garment differs very materially from that in use in the early history of the Church, at which time a garment without collar and with buttons was frequently used.”
1907 (G) When Willard Richards was solicited [by Smith] to do the same [Remove the garment], he declined, and it seems little less than marvelous that he was preserved without so much as a bullet piercing his garments.” – Heber J. Grant journal sheets, 7 June 1907, LDS Archives
1936 (E) – A codified explanation of the symbolism of the marks on the veil is added to the endowment. source: David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
1945 (E) – The endowment is administered in Spanish in the Mesa, Arizona temple, the first time the ceremony is administered in a language other than English. David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
1950 (E) -The first filmed versions of the endowment are made for use in the Swiss and New Zealand temples (with different casts for different languages). David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
11–15 September, 1955 – Bern Switzerland Temple Dedicated by David O McKay
1960s – Film becomes the standard medium for presenting the endowment. Filmed endowments take on a theatrical quality (with costumes, scenery, music, etc.) and are dubbed from English into other languages. As the filmed endowment makes congregational singing awkward, the preacher’s hymn is discontinued. David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
“Letter: To PRESIDENTS of TEMPLES Dear Brethren: This will advise you that approval has been granted for limited modification in the design of the garment used in the temple to allow for better fit and greater wearing comfort.
The approved modified design for women has a button front rather than string ties, a brassiere top patterned after the brassiere top of garments used for day-time wear, a helanca stretch insert in the back at the waist, and widened overlapping back panels with a helanca stretch piece at the top of each panel and a button to assure panels remaining closed. All other features of the garment, including the collar, long legs, and long sleeves, remain the same as heretofore.
The approved modified design of the garment for men has a button front, closed crotch, helanca stretch insert piece in the back at the waist, widened overlapping back panels with a helanca stretch piece at the top of each panel and a button to assure panels remaining closed. All other features of the men’s garment also, including the collar, long legs and long sleeves, remain the same as heretofore.
OFFICE OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY Salt Lake City 11, Utah June 10, 1965”
1966 – Visitor Center built in Salt Lake City
1967 -Book of Abraham papyri found at Metropolitan Museum of Art
1970s (E) – Revisions are made to the portion of the ceremony involving Lucifer’s preacher: Lucifer no longer specifies the amount of the preacher’s salary, and a reference to Satan’s having black skin is omitted. David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
1975 (G) – The long, pre-1923 garment becomes optional in the temple and is eventually discontinued. David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
1978 – The lifting of the priesthood ban on blacks by President Spencer W. Kimball makes the endowment available to all Latter-day Saints, regardless of race. David John Buerger, The Mysteries of Godliness: A History of Mormon Temple Worship (San Francisco: Smith Research Associates, 1994)
15 December, 1979 (G) – Two piece garment introduced. The most dramatic recent change was the two-piece garment in 1979. In a letter to Church leaders dated December 15, 1979, the First Presidency announced the introduction in February 1979 of two-piece temple garments. The new style garments were offered in addition to, and priced about the same as, the regular one-piece variety. No explanation for or description of the new garments was given.
1986 (M) – It appears that some lodges still use penalties and others do not by this point. For a list of lodges using penalties today: http://bessel.org/penalty.htm
1990 – Following surveys of Church members’ feelings about the endowment, major revisions are made: – Dialogue, Vol. 20, No. 4, p.56
All penalties, the five points of fellowship, and syllables purported to having meaning in the Adamic language are omitted.
The part of the preacher is eliminated, as well as a reference to Lucifer’s “popes and priests.”
Women no longer covenant to obey the law of their husbands.
Language which faults Eve for initiating the Fall is dropped.
Many references to Adam are replaced with references to Adam and Eve.
The lecture at the veil is discontinued.
Orders from Elohim are repeated fewer times for brevity’s sake.
Prior to 1993 (M/E) – Five Points of Fellowship Removed from the Endowment
1999 (G) – Military Garment issued (Green camo)
2005 – Procedures for the initiatory are revised such that initiates clothe themselves in the garment before entering the washing room, thus eliminating the final vestiges of ritual nudity (which had been curtailed by introduction of the shield, probably during the 1920s). Water and oil are applied to the head only, not to multiple parts of the body.
2005 (G) – Silkscreened garments introduced, including silkscreening markings on inside of other clothing for military and police.
2007 – Desert tan cycling style of lycra undershort worn during unit physical training exercises. Now avaialble in “white” for females.
February 2008 – Mithryn goes to temple, hears about the change to the ceremony and asks to speak to temple president. Points out that “may” changed to “might” is the only difference in 2008, and that sitting/standing is not an issue. Temple president says he is correct. Mithryn points out that there have been many changes over time that were more than sitting standing. Temple president asks how Mithryn knows. Mithryn says that his brother told him in the Celestial Room when serving an endowment session. Temple president says, “he really shouldn’t have done that,” [shared previous endowment details in the Celestial Room]. Mithryn leaves very, very confused.