Occult Symbols on LDS Temples??

I received a thoughtful question from a sincere investigator with a great testimony of Christ who was troubled about the symbols on some LDS temples. The investigator had dabbled with the occult, and knew that symbols such as the sun, the moon, and stars played a role there. The five-pointed star was especially troubling. Why were these evil symbols on some LDS temples? My answer follows:

You raise an interesting question about symbols on temples. The pentagram is currently a widely used symbol in occult movements, but that is a recent development. It did not have those connotations when the Joseph Smith taught the LDS temple concept. The five-pointed star was used in the Nauvoo Temple and other early temples, but it’s meaning was wholesome. Inverted stars did not generally become associated with the occult until after the time of Joseph Smith. For documentation, please see the excellent article by Matthew Brown, “Inverted Stars On LDS Temples,” available at “http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/Stars.pdf. This article also shows that stars, including inverted stars, were used by early Christians as valid Christian symbols. The symbol of the star – whether it has five or six points – and the pentagram can be used for good or evil purposes. The fact that Satan worshippers have given evil meanings to the star, the broken cross, the goat, the moon, or whatever does not make the symbols inherently evil.

FYI, Bible uses the symbolism of heavenly bodies to describe the work of God. Specifically, the symbols of the stars, the moon, and the sun are used in describing the next life (1 Cor. 15: 40-42 and other places). Is it a shock to find the same symbols on some LDS temples, given that the temple is about preparing us for the next life? Further, in Revelation 22:16, Christ refers to himself as “the bright and morning star,” and for early Latter-day Saints, the morning star symbol referred to the coming of Christ and His millennial reign – a perfectly appropriate symbol for the temple.

Similarity in symbols does not mean similarity in meaning. The cross-like Ankh symbol was used in pagan rituals of Egypt, but that does not make the symbol of the cross something pagan (though we prefer not to use the cross to remember Christ, wishing to focus on his victory over death through the Resurrection). If I walk into a cathedral and see a cross, it would be silly for me to condemn the Catholics for promoting pagan Egyptian rites with that symbol. The same applies to those who see stars, moons, or suns on the Salt Lake Temple.

I hope this answer helps, and I pray that you will continue looking into the Gospel.

 

This information is also available on my Mormon Answers page of “Slightly Facetious (?) Questions about Mormons and Mormon Beliefs.”

Related post at Mormanity, Feb. 2011: “No, French Catholics Are Not Satanists: Understanding the Inverted Pentagram in Historical Christianity” – with photos of a French Catholic church with prominent inverted pentagrams displayed.

Also see SymbolDictionary.net on the pentagram, where we learn that it was used as an ancient symbol for Jerusalem and was used by medieval Christians to symbolize the five wounds of Christ. There we also read that, “It was not until the twentieth century that the pentagram became associated with Satanism, probably due to misinterpretation of symbols used by ceremonial magicians.”

Author: Jeff Lindsay

63 thoughts on “Occult Symbols on LDS Temples??

  1. I had wondered about this when visiting the Nauvoo temple open house. I figured there was a good explanation but didn’t know what I could tell someone who asked. Thanks.

  2. Pythagoras (586 – 506 BCE) and his followers used the symbol when they went underground. Their movement is widely recognized as the foundation of Masonry. The Mormon Church is a Masonic organization. In this organization, the five points of the star represent “the Five Points of Fellowship” used to welcome an initiate across the veil. Any attempt to disenfranchise the Mormon church from Masonry is simply an exercise in futility. Too much history. Too many documents. There is an abundance of Hermetic literature linking the practices of Mormonism to even older occult movements.

  3. I might add that you can view several more examples of the inverted pentacle on the wooden planter box just South of the Christus statue in the North visitors center on Temple Square. You may have to pull the benches away from the planter in order to see them. The museum just West of Temple Square has two inverted pentacles carved into the face just over the entrance. The beehives, the all seeing eye, the handshake, the marks of the compass, etc. are all on the temple and are all masonic symbols. See them for yourself, then take a tour of the Masonic Temple just a few blocks east. Even the alters are the same as in the Mormon temples. Much of the older temple ceremony was virtually identical to that of Free masonry but was altered in the 90s.

  4. Masonic symbols such as the compass and square are extremely ancient. Ancient Egyptian documents such as Facsimile 2 in the Book of Abraham have these symbols. For details on the relationships between the Temple and Masonry, see my page, “Temples, Mormons and Masons.

  5. Wow! I do belive that you have dispelled my final ‘problem’ with with the LDS faith, thank you!

    I wish all questioning, or previously questioning (who just decided to accept things on faith as I did), LDS youth could stumble onto your blog! You are quite the scholar, and many thanks. Now I can continue on without having that nagging at the back of my mind as it sometimes did.

    Keep up the good work Brother Lindsay!

  6. This man is correct about usage of the pentagram, in the sense that the symbol became ‘evil’ only in the 20th century. However, it came to be regarded with suspicion due to the development of its esoteric usage in secret societies; such as mormonism, masonry, and post-mideval ‘knighthoods’.

  7. We have to consider the possibility of the devil’s corruption in any institution, especially a church. When the Lord first appeared to Joseph Smith, he commanded him to join none of the other religions. Joseph Smith would have broken this commandment when he joined the Masonic lodge. This may have led to the worst type of corruption within the church. With the temples graffitied with witchcraft and demonic symbolism. As well as occult activities now entering into the temple of the true church of God. If you honestly believe in and support all of the LDS beliefs, then I ask you, why were people of african descent denied the priesthood? To me this is absolute proof that I, as a Mormon believer should question the beliefs that are handed to me by the Church. Christ did nothing in secret, and any more or less than the true doctrine of Christ is evil.

  8. Mormons are told to avoid even the appearance of evil…

    When the Nauvoo temple was rebuilt, there was concern over the connection of the inverted pentagram with Satanism. The leaders decided to keep the star in the original position. They could have as easily kept it upright to avoid negative associations.

    Why? Why not stop using these symbols if they create such controversy and such a “stumbling block” to believing the church?

    By the way, the association of the inverted pentagram with evil was known BEFORE Joseph Smith’s time. It can be found in books from the medieval time.

  9. “The association of the inverted pentagram with evil was known BEFORE Joseph Smith’s time. It can be found in books from the medieval time.”

    Reference? Documentation?

    For documentation that the inverted pentagram was first associated with the occult after the time of Joseph Smith, see http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/Stars.pdf.

  10. In plain site makes a very convincing case for the above assertions…

    http://www.inplainsite.org/html/masonic_and_mormon_symbols.html

    However, even if the background info on this site does not stand up to scrutiny (although I believe it will), the question of avoiding the appearance of evil is left to our common sense. It seems to me that if the church leadership is not aware of the satanic connotations of the inverted pentagram, they are not only not OF the world, but are also not living IN the world.

  11. For your ease in finding the info, please scroll down to “The Nauvoo Pentagram” on this site.

    The author seems to present a logical case that is fair and non-inflammatory. Worth checking into.

  12. The temple symbols are not occult; they are ancient. Christianity discarded them long ago because they seemed to have nothing to do with religion and spirituality. But, appearances can be deceiving. Because Joseph Smith restored the primitive church, he also erected temples with the proper, ancient symbolism without and within. Those symbols are a silent testament to the validity of his calling.
    http://youtube.com/user/toeknee1943
    http://www.mormonprophecy.com

  13. Hi Anthony,

    Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I kept checking the site but there was no response for so many months, I stopped checking.

    Whether the symbols are occult or ancient is beside the point. The concern is with occult connections made by others that would tend to put the church in a negative light.

    There are many instances where LDS leaders decided to abandon, change, or modify aspects of how we present ourselves to the world that are visible to the modern world, reasons being, as we were told, to avoid the appearance of evil and not put stumbling blocks for conversion. Keeping a positive reputation has always seemed to be important in the church, at least in my lifetime.

    However, in the case of some of designs of the temples, this policy does not seem to be followed. Why?

    Why is it so important to keep those symbols on the Nauvoo Temple? They are not found on most other temples. (I venture to guess for the same reasons given above.)

    The angel on top of the Nauvoo temple was changed to avoid negative associations with Freemasons, wasn’t it? Why not change the symbols that have been used by occult societies as well for the same reason?

    To me, from the information given to its members, it seems illogical and inconsistent to do one and not the other. Can we chalk this up to a mistake on the leadership’s part? After all, they are not infallible…? Church history proves that clearly.

    Joseph Smith, having used “ancient” symbols proves nothing other than his being influenced by his association with the Freemasons. To believe it is a testament of his validity as a prophet and seer in this instance seems to be based on pure faith.

    If these symbols are so important as to risk incurring the strong disapproval and other negative reactions of the “outside” world, why are they not on ALL temples? (As far as I know, they are not…I may be wrong.)

    Anyway, your logic escapes me.

    I’d appreciate your feedback!

    Pschano.

  14. Addendum to the above:

    Logically, if using “ancient” symbols such as the pentagram are a validation and testament (I assume you to the truthfulness) of Joseph Smith and the LDS church, then it seems to follow that we can look at other societies/belief systems that continued to use these symbols and conclude that they are also valid…

    However, of course, the various societies that use these symbols are usually non-convergent and contradictory with LDS doctrine.

    A clearer connection between “ancient” symbols and Joseph Smith can be made with he and his family’s interest and involvement with magical practices. (And there is quite a bit of evidence to support that conclusion, foremost being Joseph Smith’s own confession of pretending to use magic to fool others into believing he could find hidden treasure. In this particular case the evidence is documented, and not merely conjectured.)

    It would seem to make much more sense that we have here a teenager who enjoyed being perceived as special (as a mystic and treasure hunter), highly influenced by the interest in magic of his day, who later invented a story of buried treasure at Hill Cumorah culminating in the events that led to the formation of the LDS church and the building of temples containing/displaying occult/magical symbols known at his time and also used by others with whom he was associated: the Freemasons.

    If you give me a more plausible explanation for all of this, I’d love to here it.

    Psachno.

  15. Masons also have a strong history in the Roman Catholic Church, and were founders of occult orders such as the Golden Dawn, and indirectly the origins of Wicca. Most of the negative connotations with the pentagram come from Anton LeVey, who founded the Church of Satan in 1966, but most of his symbolism was based on misinformation to begin with. Satanists attempted to mock other religions by reversing their symbols. LeVay believed that Catholics and Wiccans used upright pentacles and crosses, white candles and gold chalaces. Therefor, Satanists use inverted crosses and pentacles, black candles and silver chalaces. However, the Satanists were obviously unaware that the inverted cross is used as a symbol of St. Peter by Catholics, Wiccans use inverted pentacles during funerals as a sign of mourning, and neither Wiccans nor Catholics are particular about the color of their candles or chalaces. Satanists also use the term “warlock” for a male Satanist and “witch” for a female Satanist. This is stupid, since the word “witch” means anyone who uses magic (good or bad), and “warlock” just means “traitor” and was often used in the Middle Ages to refer to the devil himself. Unfortunately, most of these misconceptions about “evil black magic symbols” are spread by Hollywood.

  16. Ravenfire, Thanks for the clarification. From my research, I believe your information to be accurate. Although I’m quite sure pentagrams and other astrological symbols were also used as occult symbols before 1966. However, it is possible that Jos. Smith and the population around Nauvoo and Salt Lake in the 1800’s weren’t aware of the connections.

    That still leaves the question, however, why the church didn’t omit the symbols society today connects with Satanism and the occult on the restoration of the Nauvoo temple?

    Even if these symbols were popularized after Joseph Smith’s time in 1966, it doesn’t seem logical to me that the church decided to use them on the rebuilding of the exterior of the Nauvoo temple if only to avoid the appearance of evil.

    Can someone explain this discrepancy in the church’s judgment?!

    Psachno.

  17. Ok Im Wiccan, and I use the pentagram on a daily basis and know many of its wide array of connotations and uses in the occult world. Frankly put, I find the usage of this symbol, and all of the other various symbols used in early mormon architecture very admirable. The rich symbolism on these temples illustrates that those early morman leaders knew what they were doing, and did so boldly. Why should this be regrettable or embarrasing to the current mormon church as it stands? The negative aspects associated with this symbol are fairly recent, considering this symbols ancient origins and uses. If anything, the pentagram examined over the ages has been a balanced symbol… and almost always has some connection to things partaining to the divine, or celestial. The heavens themselves. Psachno, I will grant you, regretably, that this symbol also recently became associated with negative facets of the occult. Pointedly, Anton Levay inverted it, painted it black and red, and stuck Baphomet’s poor head in the center. But this is essentially a corruption of its original divinity. Baphomet is still a completely separate deity, and had nothing to do, with the christian devil… which original manuscripts pointedtly suggest is a fallen angel, a personage of spirit… not a man/goat. So why should the mormon church placate to perversions of an ancient symbol that was used for true wholesome purposes, which were justified and in the correct frame of usage? I disagree that the pentagram is an appearance of evil. I do however think that popular media would have you believe its all about Satan, which is a load of crap. I trust that anyone who truly investigates the mormon faith for purposes of salvation, if sincerely converted by its message, would appreciate its unbending nature. I for one, though I am Wiccan, appreciate the mormon leaderships decision to preserve this stance, and adorn their temples with rich and beautiful symbols like the pentagram. I admire that they boldly preserve this symbols higher, and benevolent nature, with no apologies… because truly, none are needed.

  18. Fox, VERY interesting response and perspective. Thank you for sharing that with us. I would say that, from a Mormon’s point of view, having a Wiccan agree with them on this subject exactly makes my point. Someone interested in Christianity and in investigating Mormonism would not normally equate much Wiccan belief with Mormonism. In fact, they may equate or put in the same “evil” basket the Wiccans with Satanic aspects of belief and worship. And, in my experience that could certainly be off-putting to some investigators.

    If the church were consistent and unbending, I agree with your penchant to respect its beliefs. However, I think an important point to remember is that the Mormon church, although it appears unbending in some aspects of its beliefs, has “bent” quite a bit since its early inception.

    What still concerns me is making some changes to the design of the restoration of the Nauvoo temple and not others.

    Sorry…still searching for another reasonable, logical answer to this question.

    Psachno

  19. "The angel on top of the Nauvoo temple was changed to avoid negative associations with Freemasons…"

    Psachno, where is the evidence for this assertion? Is the horizontal Moroni a masonic symbol?

  20. Hi Octopod,

    Sorry, it has been a while…so much time in between replies I lose motivation to keep checking at times.

    To answer your question on resources for my assertion re: the Nauvoo Temple weathervane angel I have included the following sources, both pro, con, and neutral to Mormonism.

    #1
    The Salt Lake Tribune (May 4, 2002, p.C3) printed a picture of the original Nauvoo temple weather vane, which shows the Masonic symbol of the compass and square above the angel. Reporter Peggy Stack wrote:
    "Every detail of the historic Nauvoo Temple was reconstructed [in the new Nauvoo temple] meticulously with one exception: the flying angel weather vane that graced the top of the 19th century Mormon edifice.
    "In its place is the gold-leafed Angel Moroni, first used on the Salt Lake Temple,…
    "Some speculate that the horizontal angel, with its compass and square, may be too closely associated with Masonic rituals for modern Mormons." (Salt Lake Tribune, May 4, 2002, p.C3)

    (click to enlarge)
    [Original architect's drawing of the Nauvoo Temple weather vane.
    Notice the compass and square above the angel.]

    #2http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2005_Latter-day_Saints_and_Freemasonry.html

    "What do we get from Freemasonry?

    Squares and Compasses

    This is the traditional Masonic Square and Compass. The letter 'G' stands for God and sometimes for geometry. Masons like geometry; it's one of the Liberal Arts that we're real fond of as you can imagine. The Square and Compass, it's an old symbol, but it's primarily a Masonic one and it deals with the tri-square, the square that you would use to check your work to make sure that it is square, and the compasses which you use to lay out your work.
    One thing that Masonry does is it takes all these old tools and gives them new meanings. We give them- essentially there's the idea of operative Masonry and speculative Masonry and speculative Masonry has meanings for the tools. By the way, the meanings for the tools are the same in both Masonry and the Temple.
    And here is a picture from the Spring City Endowment House of 1878 in which the Saints carved the square and compasses on the front of the building. The Nauvoo Temple had them; here it is on- for some reason the Saints inverted the use of them; having the points of the compasses pointing upwards. This is the original weathervane of the Nauvoo Temple and you can see the square and compass just above the angel."

    #3
    http://www.inplainsite.org/html/masonic_and_mormon_symbols.html

    By Bill McKeever (from inplainsite.org)

    "We have no reason to believe he [Gordon B. Hinckley] was compelled to remain completely true to the temple's original design given the fact that the upright angel atop the steeple is not the same as the horizontal weathervane/angel used in 1846."

    I hope this information helps. It is really worth looking into. Let me know what you think!

  21. Oh brother, the brainwashing is running rampant. I can't believe anyone would outright lie about occult symbols being used in their so-called Christian religion, and then have a bunch of easily led declare, "oh that sounds about right". Stop calling your false prophet "the joseph smith". It sounds so ridiculous. He was a commoner just like everyone else. Just because he lied doesn't mean he deserves to be revered.
    Pentagrams have been occult symbols long before "the j. smith" and they still are. If you people want to stop being compared to occultists; which you are, then stop using those symbols. You know, since it's been so long since "the Joe smith".
    Pretty nice for him that so many people are willing to believe a womanizing liar is their prophet.
    But then, I'm just a woman and according to your church's teachings, am a second class citizen who's only purpose is to breed uncontrollably.
    -Stacey E

  22. Stacey, care to offer any evidence for your claim that the symbol was occult in Joseph's day? Perhaps your unaware that it was being used and is still used on a number of Christian church buildings built before Joseph's day, where the Pentagram was a legitimate Christian symbol. I have one example that I saw recently in France shown at http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2011/02/no-french-catholics-are-not-satanists.html.

    Perhaps the brainwashing we should be concerned about is the kind that leads people to think fellow Christians are Satanists.

  23. Psachno, still waiting for a response from you with evidence that the pentagram was a Satanic symbol in the middle ages or in Joseph's day. I've provide evidence from several fronts that it was a positive, Christian symbol and only after Joseph's time was used by some people for evil purposes. For more, see, for example, http://symboldictionary.net/?p=378.

  24. It's a legitimate question to ask why we would risk confusion by keeping that symbol on our churches now that some enemies of Christianity have perverted it's meaning in our day. However, they have and will continue to do that with all sorts of symbols.

    Churches in Europe with the pentagram on them have not felt any need to rip them off their buildings, as far as I can tell, just because a few nuts made an irrelevant Satanic group that twisted the symbol for their own purposes. The status of the pentagram as evil in a few obscure circles does not wipe out its positive history or its ongoing positive uses, no matter how much Hollywood likes and uses the evil version.

    Now if Hitler had adopted that symbol as his own and it was the primary symbol associated with his murderous wrath and genocide, I think European churches as well as ours in the US would more seriously accept the permanent loss of that symbol from acceptable Christian expression. But the obscure efforts of modern Satanists do not rise to that level.

    One can ask, for example, if Protestant and Catholic churches should abandon their cross if Satanists or ancient pagans have used versions of it in their worship.

  25. (Con't from previous post)

    In addition, Joseph Smith very likely knew that the upright pentagram was involved with occult practices because he participated in occult magic for years, as evidenced by his fascination with seer stones, magical scrolls, amulets, and folk magic in general (e.g., by his own admission, magical treasure seeking). He also would have been aware of the use of the pentagram and the use of secrets associated with the symbol during his involvement with the Masons.
    In his article entitled Inverted Stars on LDS Temples (http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/Stars.pdf ), Mormon writer Matthew B. Brown also refers to Eliphas Levi as the one who gave the inverted pentagram an evil connotation. He states
    "Though Eliphas Levi is consistently credited with being the first person to associate the inverted five-pointed star with Satan, one commentator makes this important observation: "The inverted five-pointed star, with its single point downward, originally had no demonic meaning, but over the centuries it has mistakenly come to represent evil." (Source cited, Tom Ogden, Wizards and Sorcerers: From Abracadabra to Zoroaster, New York: Facts on File, 1997, 172…
    [According to Brown’s logic]…it seems to be clear that if it has come to represent evil "over the centuries," it is reasonable to assume that it did have had such a connotation when Joseph Smith was alive.” http://mrm.org/nauvoo-pentagrams
    Even if it could be proven that prior to the 1840’s the inverted pentagram did NOT have any relationship to evil, it does not explain why the Mormons would CONTINUE to use it during a time when, by FAIR’s own admission, it currently is considered as a symbol of the occult and Satanism.

    (However, those are just a couple of examples of how LDS apologists trip themselves up…)

    For example, both pentagrams and inverted pentagrams are found on the design of the Nauvoo Temple (supposedly given to JS in a vision by revelation (DC 124:42) and included in the design of the temple’s restoration in 2002.

    “The LDS Church has [also] used the inverted star to decorate other buildings that were completed long after 1855. This would include the famous Salt Lake temple, which was finished in 1893. Several inverted stars with an elongated point at the bottom can also be found in the woodwork in the Christus Rotunda in the North Visitor's Center on Temple Square that was built in 1963. The lined, inverted star within a circle can also be found in the upper left hand corner near the entrance of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art built in 1984.”

    http://www.inplainsite.org/html/masonic_and_mormon_symbols.html

    One of these emblems was put into place on the east tower of the Logan, Utah temple in 1880. An eyewitness to the event reported the following, which was printed in a major newspaper: "Carved upon the keystone is a magnificent star, called the Star of the Morning."

    http://www.fairwiki.org/Mormonism_and_temples/Inverted_Stars_on_LDS_Temples

    Because the church’s persistence in using these symbols is so evident, it raises the question, “Why don’t they use it on ALL church building or temples?” They are obviously acting in a confusing and inconsistent way.

  26. (continued from above…)
    3. Finally, my original and persistent assertion is that THE MORMON CHURCH IS NOT PRACTICING WHAT THEY PREACH—AND THAT IS: AVOIDING THE APPEARANCE OF EVIL.

    On November 21, 2008, I wrote:

    “Whether the symbols are occult or ancient is beside the point. The concern is with occult connections made by others that would tend to put the church in a negative light.”

    Interestingly, even occultists and witches have ceased to use the inverted pentagram for fear of being associated with Satanists.
    "… if the figure is reversed perversion and evil will be the result" (Magic – White and Black, Franz Hartmann, M.D., Newcastle Publishing, 1971,pp.290-291).
    "… If an upright five-pointed star represents God or the deity, then the reverse typically represents Satan…In Europe, some Witches have used the inverted pentacle to denote the second-degree rank. This use has declined, because of the association of the symbol with Satanism" (The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Facts on File, Inc., 1989, p.266)
    Witches, Wiccans, and other occult organizations still use the upright pentagram, however. Why does the church not care about their use of pentagrams when it is obviously also a symbol of other so-called evil organizations? Your argument that these are obscure, insignificant groups does not hold water here. These organizations existed and used the pentagram well before Christianity ever existed.

    Your minimization of the Satanists’ symbol does not erase the fact that its impact (for whatever reason) is widely felt. Even a school in NM was trying to rule out the wearing of pentagrams and other occult symbols to school. http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_pent1.htm

    Moreover, your assertion that other Christian churches have not removed their pentagrams on their older buildings or ceased using the cross as symbol is not salient to the argument. Your logic seems to be tripping you up because, once the pentagram’s relationship to Satanism became known, other Christians have ceased to put these symbols on their edifices. (If they have not, I challenge you to provide proof of that.) The Mormons, however, have not ceased to use these symbols.

    Hinckley apparently decided not to add the original design of the weathervane because of its associations with the Masons. (See references in my former posts) However, pentagrams are heavily associated with the Masons as well. The compass and square are also ancient symbols used by various organizations over time, which begs the argument, “Why not continue using the compass and square, as well as the pentagram because they are all symbols that are ancient and widely used?” The LDS church’s logic, consistency, and wisdom in this regard are clearly lacking.

  27. (Conclusion)
    You seem to infer that the Mormons will adapt to public opinion (in your discussion of the swastika). When did the LDS church ever concede that their policies are dictated based on what other churches do? If that were true, the whole issue of using occult symbols on temples would be a non-issue. First, you minimize the changing of meaning of symbols by other groups, then you assert that the church’s decisions would be affected by certain symbols and change its policy (i.e. by not using the swastika). Yet, the swastika is one of the most ancient symbols with a positive association still in existence (as you state the pentagram is). Your arguments are illogical and contradictory. You can’t have it both ways.

    It is true that the pentagram, upright or inverted, has been used on many edifices, in many organizations, cults, and religions in the past. However, often what was once considered “good” can change with time. The most important point is that both the upright and inverted pentagram is NOW associated with the occult and considered an evil symbol by most Americans and Europeans. Therefore, the persistent use of pentagrams (whether upright or inverted) by the Mormon church makes many people question the church’s logic, wisdom, integrity, and reasoning in using symbols that are well-known to evoke confusion, distain, shock, disgust, suspicion and fear in the public, thereby defaming the church’s own reputation and hampering their missionary efforts.

  28. Jeff, there seems to be something wrong with your posting site. I have tried twice and have only succeeded in posting the conclusion to my series of posts. Can you explain?

  29. Part I – I suggest beginning with this post and read in sequential order (Part II, Part III, etc.)

    Jeff, I will attempt to answer your question to me, as well as your question to Stacy and assertions in your last post.

    According to your post on January 10, 2008, you wrote to me:

    "The association of the inverted pentagram with evil was known BEFORE Joseph Smith's time. It can be found in books from the medieval time."

    Reference? Documentation?

    On January 10, 2008, I answered:
    In plain site makes a very convincing case for the above assertions…

    http://www.inplainsite.org/html/masonic_and_mormon_symbols.html
    Did you read this site? At that time, this information was available.

    To follow up, I am providing the following additional information to support the following assertions: 1. That the inverted pentagram most likely was known as a Satanic/occult symbol at the time of Joseph Smith; 2. That the upright pentagram was associated with the occult while JS was alive. 3. Most importantly, that the Mormon church is not consistent in their counsel to avoid the appearance of evil, but rather creates negative conclusions in the public by their use of occult symbols.

    1. Admittedly, the question of whether the inverted pentagram was associated with evil before Joseph Smith’s time is controversial.

    “There is no general consensus among historians and even Wiccans and witches are not in full agreement. Some say this happened around the time of the Inquisition, while others say it could have been as late as the 19th century.”
    http://mrm.org/nauvoo-pentagrams

    Some sites clearly claim that it WAS used well before the 19th century to symbolize the devil. One is: http://www.ecauldron.net/pentagram.php.

    Ultimately, it seems that no one can say for sure that the inverted pentagram was NOT known as an occult or evil symbol during JS’s time. However, it seems clear that the upright pentagram was used in occult practices and known as an occult symbol well before JS’s time.

  30. After numerous attempts to post Part II…I will try again. Sorry if the post repeats. There appears to be a glitch on the posting site!

  31. (Continuation of Part II)

    De occulta philosophia libri tres (Three Books Concerning Occult Philosophy, Book 1 printed Paris 1531; Books 1-3 in Cologne 1533). This summa of occult and magical thought, Agrippa's most important work in a number of respects, sought a solution to the skepticism proposed in De vanitate. In short, Agrippa argued for a synthetic vision of magic whereby the natural world combined with the celestial and the divine through Neoplatonic participation, such that ordinarily licit natural magic was in fact validated by a kind of demonic magic sourced ultimately from God. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Cornelius_Agrippa)

  32. (Con't. Part II)

    Another source that refers to the upright pentagram as an occult symbol is: Anonymous, Praxis Magica Fausti; And or The Magical Elements of Doctor John Faust – Practitioner of Medicine. Manuscript/ 1571. The original manuscript can be found in the Municipal Library of Weimar. Online edition can be found at http://asiya.org/index.php?topic=MagicalAthenaeum

  33. (Continuing Part II)

    Certainly, it was known in JS’s day what the occult was. The 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language states, "…the occult sciences are magic, necromancy, &c." http://www.inplainsite.org/html/masonic_and_mormon_symbols.html#pentagram
    In addition, Joseph Smith very likely knew that the upright pentagram was involved with occult practices because he participated in occult magic for years, as evidenced by his fascination with seer stones, magical scrolls, amulets, and folk magic in general (e.g., by his own admission, magical treasure seeking). He also would have been aware of the use of the pentagram and the use of secrets associated with the symbol during his involvement with the Masons.

  34. After playing around with the format and size of my posts, I am again at a standstill. But I'm not giving up.

  35. Part II continuing
    (I have left out an entire section that would not post.)

    Even if it could be proven that prior to the 1840’s the inverted pentagram did NOT have any relationship to evil, it does not explain why the Mormons would CONTINUE to use it during a time when, by FAIR’s own admission, it currently is considered as a symbol of the occult and Satanism. However, those are just a couple of examples of how LDS apologists trip themselves up.

    For example, both pentagrams and inverted pentagrams are found on the design of the Nauvoo Temple (supposedly given to JS in a vision by revelation (DC 124:42) and included in the design of the temple’s restoration in 2002.

  36. Conclusion Part II

    “The LDS Church has [also] used the inverted star to decorate other buildings that were completed long after 1855. This would include the famous Salt Lake temple, which was finished in 1893. Several inverted stars with an elongated point at the bottom can also be found in the woodwork in the Christus Rotunda in the North Visitor's Center on Temple Square that was built in 1963. The lined, inverted star within a circle can also be found in the upper left hand corner near the entrance of the LDS Museum of Church History and Art built in 1984.”

    http://www.inplainsite.org/html/masonic_and_mormon_symbols.html

    One of these emblems was put into place on the east tower of the Logan, Utah temple in 1880. An eyewitness to the event reported the following, which was printed in a major newspaper: "Carved upon the keystone is a magnificent star, called the Star of the Morning."

    http://www.fairwiki.org/Mormonism_and_temples/Inverted_Stars_on_LDS_Temples

    Because the church’s persistence in using these symbols is so evident, it raises the question, “Why don’t they use it on ALL church building or temples?” They are obviously acting in a confusing and inconsistent way.

  37. Part III Con't.

    Moreover, your assertion that other Christian churches have not removed their pentagrams on their older buildings or ceased using the cross as symbol is not salient to the argument. Your logic seems to be tripping you up because, once the pentagram’s relationship to Satanism became known, other Christians have ceased to put these symbols on their edifices. (If they have not, I challenge you to provide proof of that.) The Mormons, however, have not ceased to use these symbols.