Brief History of Wasatch Lodge

History of Wasatch - Mt. Moriah Lodge

No further attempt was made to organize Freemasonry in Utah Territory until shortly after the close of the war when, late in 1865, a handful of Masons in Great Salt Lake City took steps to obtain a dispensation from the Grand Master of Nevada. On February 4, 1866, they received a dispensation for Mount Moriah Lodge to begin work.

Almost immediately after the Lodge was instituted, it was in difficulty over the question of admittance of Mormons, either as visitors or for membership. Grand Master DeBell, being well informed on the Masonic history of the Mormons in Illinois and on their relations with the “Gentiles” in Western Nevada, had issued an edict in reply to a question asked of him. He said that in issuing the dispensation to Mount Moriah he had required a pledge that the petitioners should carefully exclude all persons of the Mormon faith. This ruling was resented by the Lodge members, who held that they should be the best judges of whom to admit as visitors or members.

On September 18, 1866, at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of Nevada, charter was denied but the dispensation was continued for another year, in hope that Mount Moriah would comply with the edict of the Grand Master.

One year later, it was reported in Grand Lodge that there had been no change in the attitude of Mount Moriah, hence their request for a charter was denied and the dispensation was terminated, with instructions to the Grand Secretary to issue dimits to the members.

From September 18, 1867, until November 25, 1867, Mount Moriah Lodge was without a dispensation and therefore lacked the authority to do Masonic work. On the latter date, the Grand Lodge of Kansas issued a dispensation. On December 18, 1867, the Lodge again was instituted, and on October 21, 1868, was chartered as Number 70 (Kansas).

Thus, though Mount Moriah Lodge received its original dispensation about nine months ahead of Wasatch, it was chartered a year later than Wasatch. This fact, and the lapse of dispensation, no doubt influenced the Grand Lodge of Utah, at its organization on January 16, 1872, to designate Wasatch as number one and Mount Moriah as number two


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