Louis Bertrand, a former Mason, rejects relationship between Masonic lodge and Endowment.

Dec 1907
Louis Bertrand

A.A. Ramseyer, "The Memoirs of a Mormon," Improvement Era (December 1907): 85

Improvement Era
Louis Bertrand, Joseph Smith, Jr., A. A. Ramseyer
Reading Public

We will begin by declaring that there is not in Utah* the shadow of a Masonic lodge. As a member of the French and Scottish free masonry, our opinion is that the institution has served its time, and nobody thinks in Utah of establishing lodges of any rites. The 20th of August, 1859, I received my initiation to the sacred rites of the Church. No ordeal, physical or moral, was employed during that initiation, which lasted no less than four hours. As far as our memory serves us, the murder of Joseph Smith was in no wise mentioned therein, neither was the name of the government of the United States even mentioned. Exclusively religious, this initiation has not the least relation with the political affairs of America. True, it is secret, but as all Saints bear the priesthood, and so, all are called, without distinction, to receive the endowment, it follows that it is withheld from those only who do not belong to our Church. We further affirm that there are no secret tribunals, no Hannibal's oaths against the United States, in the higher degrees of our priesthood. Without a doubt the murder of Smith and the immunity granted his murderers has been a great crime, a great fault, but we are leaving the chastisement entirely to God and to the events which he directs. Whatever may be our opinion upon the political and social future of the old as of the new world, we have the deepest horror of all violence; and of those who reject our faith, we ask nothing but peace and religious tolerance.

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