Arm to the Square


Image: Nauvoo Illinois, LDS Temple.

Masonic First Degree, Duegard of a fellow craft mason:[footnote]DUNCAN’S RITUAL AND MONITOR OF FREEMASONRY.[/footnote]

The left arm, as far as the elbow, should be held in a horizontal position, and the rest of the arm in a vertical position, forming a square. The right hand detached from the stomach, fingers extending outward.


Draw the right hand rapidly across the neck, as represented in the cut, and drop the arm to the side.

‘All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same, without any mental reservation or secret evasion of mind whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, 1 my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, 2 where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this my Entered Apprentice obligation. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.’

The Sign and Penalty of the First Token of the Aaronic Priesthood, LDS Endowment Ceremony (note: the penalty was removed in 1990)[footnote]Handshakes, signs and penalties of the LDS endowment ceremony[/footnote]

Is made by bringing the right arm to the square, the palm of the hand forward, the fingers close together, and the thumb extended.

PENALTY, pre 1930

The participant placed his or her right hand palm-down with the thumb extended and the tip of the thumb just under the left ear. The execution of the gesture was made by drawing the tip of the thumb swiftly across the throat until the thumb was just under the right ear, then dropping the hand and arm quickly to the side of the participant’s body.

ADAM : “We, and each of us, covenant and promise that we will not reveal any of the secrets of this, the first token of the Aaronic priesthood, with its accompanying name, sign or penalty. Should we do so, we agree that our throats be cut from ear to ear and our tongues torn out by their roots.




Crash Course:
Temple Oaths – Mormon Think
Secret Masonic Handshakes, Passwords, Grips And Signs Of Blue Lodge Masonry 
Mormonism and Masonry (Podcast) – Mormon Expressions
The LDS Endowment – For Latter-day Saints, the endowment serves as a rite of adult initiation.
Masonic Symbols and the LDS Temple – Sandra Tanner
Masonry and Mormonism, an Interview with Greg Kearney (Podcast) – Mormon Stories
Similarities between Freemasonry and the Mormon endowment – Richard Packham