The Secret Tradition, Part 10: Joseph Smith

By August 28, 2014

In 1843, Joseph Smith taught, “If a man gets the fulness of God, he has to get [it] in the same way that Jesus Christ obtain[ed] it & that was by keeping all the ordinances of the house of the Lord.”[1]  Here Smith suggested that Jesus had undergone the same rites that would be performed in the Nauvoo Temple.  Again, Morton Smith and others have argued that Jesus did perform some kind of higher rite and that such continued to be performed, particularly in late second-century Alexandria.  Such a rite likely had elements in common with rites described in Judeo-Christian apocalypses, mysteries (particularly Eleusis), and Platonism, and pieces of the rite may have had echoes in parts of the Catholic liturgy (particularly baptism) and theurgy.  So if Joseph Smith attempted to piece together this lost rite based on all these elements (apocalypses, mysteries, Plato, Catholic rites, and theurgy),[2] he would have been on the right track.


[1] June 11, 1843, Words of Joseph Smith, 212.

[2] A forthcoming dissertation claims that the endowment had these elements.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Regarding note 2, whose forthcoming dissertation makes these claims?

    Comment by Mark Ashurst-McGee — August 28, 2014 @ 10:07 am

  2. MAM, lol.

    Comment by David G. — August 28, 2014 @ 11:34 am

  3. I heard a rumor. :)

    Comment by Steve Fleming — August 28, 2014 @ 11:38 am

  4. And if we’d like to read this dissertation?

    Comment by Ben S — August 28, 2014 @ 5:58 pm

  5. Should be available soon.

    Comment by Steve Fleming — August 29, 2014 @ 1:56 am

  6. Joseph is just arguing that Jesus was married :)

    Comment by greg — August 29, 2014 @ 10:48 pm


Recent Comments

WVS on Job Ad: Production Editor,: “Based on the ad, I see a need? (grin)”

Jessie Embry on CFP: Communal Studies Association: “CSA was always one of my favorite conferences to attend. Such good people and great discussions. Too bad it has often been the same weekend…”

Amy T on "For ye were strangers":: “Yes. Hopefully someone has told you about the local chapter of SUP. (All welcome including spouses, families, and people without pioneer heritage.) They host excellent…”

Christopher on "For ye were strangers":: “I don't think so, Amy. Do you live in the area?”

Mormon News, November 16–20 | Signature Books on "For ye were strangers":: “[…] Jones posted “Four Short Vignettes on Mormons and Refugees” this week at the Juvenile Instructor blog. As debate rages in the United States over…”

Amy T on "For ye were strangers":: “Er, you're in Logan Ward? Have I met you? Nice collection. Can the victims of an indigenous slave trade be defined as refugees? If so perhaps…”