45 years ago today - Sep 27, 1974-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
Merv Hogan came in this morning and said that Reed Durham's talk about Mormonism and Masonry had been circulating on the underground [without Durham's permission] since April in [audio]tape and it had been transcribed and many copies distributed. He also said that he had been told by a friend of Jerald and Sandra Tanner that they had a copy of the tape. He did not know if they planned to publish it, but assumed that they would at least comment on it.

He said he had gone to Reed Durham approximately a month ago to tell him that the talk contained so many mistakes and was providing much fodder among the anti-Mormons, that he would be compelled to publish it together with criticisms. He asked Reed to furnish him with a copy, which Reed promised to do, but a month has elapsed and he has received nothing from Reed. Merv says he must meet the thing head on because of the underground copies and must let his fellow Masons know that he has answers to some of the problems raised. ...

It is fortunate in a way that Reed has withdrawn from participating in the preparation of our one-volume history. I am very much afraid that publication by the Masons on this piece by Reed may work adversely toward Reed's interests. It may prove embarrassing to him. He may be eased out of his job as director of the Institute. This would hurt him personally and professionally. Merv Hogan is in a unique position being a 33rd degree Scottish [Rite] Mason, a Mormon, and a member of the Salt Lake Lodge. There are several dozens-perhaps hundreds of Mormons which are high Masons outside of Utah-George Cannon in Hawaii, for example, but the Salt Lake Lodge will not accept any Mormons, but Merv Hogan got into them by joining the Masons elsewhere in New York and was a member in Arizona and he has zealously held onto his Salt Lake Lodge membership in order to attempt to get them to remove the ban on Mormons. He says other American lodges do not like the rule-they disapprove of it heartily. He says that Salt Lake Lodge has tried on several occasions to withdraw his membership, but they have not been successful because of the opposition of other jurisdictions outside of Utah. Brother Anderson told me the other day that when he was secretary to the First Presidency, he had written a number of letters to persons who had written to the First Presidency about the Masonic membership. He says that he had always written under the direction of the First Presidency that they should not be active Masons "because you cannot be a good member of two churches at the same time." I told him that I knew personally a number of Mormons who were both active Mormons and active Masons and mentioned several. He seemed to be surprised at this since it had been his understanding that all active Mormons had been instructed to become inactive Masons.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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