While no one thing can entirely explain the rise of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the historical influence of Freemasonry on this religious tradition cannot be refuted. Those who study Mormonism have been aware of the impact that Freemasonry had on the founding prophet Joseph Smith during the Nauvoo period, but his involvement in Freemasonry was arguably earlier and broader than many modern historians have admitted. The fact that the most obvious vestiges of Freemasonry are evident only in the more esoteric aspects of the Mormon faith has made it difficult to recognize, let alone fully grasp, the relevant issues. Even those with both Mormon and Masonic experience may not be versed in the nineteenth-century versions of Masonry's rituals, legends, and practices. Without this specialized background, it is easy to miss the Masonic significance of numerous early Mormon ordinances, scripture, and doctrines. Method Infinite: Freemasonry and the Mormon Restoration offers a fresh perspective on the Masonic thread present in Mormonism from its earliest days. Smith's firsthand knowledge of and experience with both Masonry and anti-Masonic currents contributed to the theology, structure, culture, tradition, history, literature, and ritual of the religion he founded.
Praise for Method Infinite:
“In this book, authors Cheryl L. Bruno, Joe Steve Swick, and Nicholas S. Literski have shown us just how prevalent Freemasonry was in the culture, lives, and minds of Joseph Smith and his contemporaries, and, more importantly, how interwoven it is in the teachings and rituals that became so important in early Mormonism. The full truth about Smith’s restoration movement cannot be understood without the deep, poignant research that makes up this volume. The reader will find it packed with evidence pulled from a variety of solid sources. This book is a game changer for sure.”—Devery S. Anderson, editor, The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1845–2000: A Documentary History
“Sweeping in scope and meticulous in detail, Method Infinite excavates the shared past of Masonry and the Latter-day Saint Restoration—and skillfully uncovers a lost context of Joseph Smith's prophetic work.”—Don Bradley, author, The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories
“Method Infinite is an eye-opening, comprehensive reconstruction of early Mormon connections with Freemasonry, showing how Masonic lore and practice informed early Mormon development much sooner and penetrated more deeply than previously imagined. Mormonism drew not only on the ritualistic forms and language of Masonry, but also on its theological narratives of dispensationalism, continuing revelation, redemption from sin, Christian perfectionism and theosis, just to name a few. This work is an important contribution to Mormon Studies and fundamentally changes the way one thinks about the intersection between Masonry and early Mormonism.”—Charles R. Harrell, author, "This Is My Doctrine": The Development of Mormon Theology
“Method Infinite has been in the making for twenty years, and the final product is well worth the wait. Both Greg Kofford Books and the three authors deserve respect and admiration for seeing this volume to completion. After reading this book I feel like a new world of knowledge has been revealed to my mind. It is a difficult task for historians to write and explain two traditions, but to write so that the lay person can understand these intertwining histories of both Mormonism and Freemasonry is a herculean task, one that authors Bruno, Swick, and Literski have accomplished in this volume.”—Joe Geisner, editor, Writing Mormon History: Historians and Their Books