I'm not an expert by any means on masonry, but I do know a lot about Joseph Smith. I also know something about that website, the UTLM, that you
sourced from. UTLM is about as good a source for Mormon information as Freemasonry Watch is for masonry, i.e. a very poor source.
UTLM does have some good information, but a lot of their facts get mixed in with falsehoods and out of context quotes and that sort of thing, until
the Tanners (the creators of UTLM) can basically 'prove' whatever conclusion they want to. This is a rather common occurrence with masonry as well;
people twist facts or just plain make stuff up to 'prove' that they are all horrible people trying to take over the world. I trust the Tanners
about as much as I do somebody like David Icke; they get some of the history right, but their conclusions are so far from accurate that they aren't
even worth considering.
Also, it should be said that Joseph Smith founded the Mormon religion on April 6, 1830. He became a Mason (not sure exact date) sometime in 1842, if
I recall correctly. I'm not sure if he was ever expelled from masonry, as I have seen conflicting reports on whether he was or not. He died in June
1844, so if he was expelled at some point, he wasn't a Mason for very long.
Using Masonry degree structures for the said religion sheesh
Again, I'm no masonry expert, but I think I would know if we were doing this. It is true that some of the temple ceremonies resemble masonic
ceremonies, but the temple ceremonies were in place before Smith became a mason. Some have accused Smith of changing the endowments later to
incorporate masonic elements. Smith did add to some of the ceremonies over time, but when he told people about them initially, he also told them
straight out that what he was giving them was incomplete, and that more would follow.
I've seen several arguments on both sides about why some of the Mormon ceremonies resemble Masonic ones, so I'm not sure which one, if any, is the
I have a thread for people to ask me questions about mormons, the link is in my signature somewhere. Ask anything you want, as long as you keep in
mind two things: 1) please don't bash my religion and 2) I'm really busy with school right now, so I may take several days before i get time to make
a proper response after seeing your question.