In an epistle to the Relief Society, Joseph Smith cites Masonry as an organization whose members know how to keep secrets.

Mar 31, 1842
Meeting Minutes / Notes
Joseph Smith, Jr.

Eliza Roxcy Snow, Nauvoo Relief Society Minute Book, 1842–1844, The Joseph Smith Papers website, 87–88, accessed April 7, 2023.

Eliza R. Snow
Eliza R. Snow, Joseph Smith, Jr.
Relief Society

. . . We have been informed that some unprincipled men, whose names we will not mention at present, have been guilty of such crimes. We do not mention their names, not knowing but what there may be some among you who are not sufficiently skill’d in Masonry as to keep a secret, therefore, suffice it to say, there are those, and we therefore warn you, & forewarn you, in the name of the Lord, to check & destroy any faith that any innocent person may have in any such character; for we do not want any one to believe any thing as coming from us, contrary to the old established morals & virtues & scriptural laws, regulating the habits, customs & conduct of society; and all persons pretending to be authoriz’d by us, or having any permit, or sanction from us, are & will be liars & base impostors, & you are authoriz’d on the very first intimation of the kind, to denounce them as such, & shun them as the flying fiery serpent, whether they are prophets, Seers, or revelators; Patriarchs, twelve Apostles, Elders, Priests, Mayers, Generals, City Councillors, Aldermen, Marshalls, Police, Lord Mayors or the Devil, are alike culpable & shall be damned for such evil practices; and if you yourselves adhere to anything [p. [87]]

of the kind, you also shall be damned.

Now beloved Sisters, do not believe for a moment, that we wish to impose upon you, we actually do know that such things have existed in the church, and are sorry to say that we are obliged to make mention of any such thing, and we want a stop put to them, and we desire you to do your part, and we will do ours, for we wish to keep the commandments of God in all things, as given directly from heav’n to us, living by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord.

May God add his blessing upon your heads and lead you in all the paths of virtue, piety & peace, that you may be an ornament unto those to whom you belong, and rise up and crown them with honors, & by so doing, you shall be crown’d with honor in heav’n and shall sit upon thrones, judging those over whom you are plac’d in authority, and shall be judg’d of God for all the responsibilities that we confer’d upon you.

At a more convenient and appropriate season, we will give you further information upon this subject.

Let this Epistle be had as a private matter in your Society, and then we shall learn whether you are good masons.

We are your humble Servants in the Bonds of the New & Everlasting Covenant.”— Signed by

Hyrum Smith

Joseph Smith, President of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Heber C. Kimball

Willard Richards

Vinson Knights

Brigham Young, Prest. of the Quorum of the Twelve

P.S. If the Lord be God, serve him; but if baal, then serve him. [p. [88]]

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