Saturday, February 9th was Jerusalem lodge’s Friend to Friend breakfast. Lodge members invited many friends to come and enjoy a country ham breakfast that also included sausage, eggs, biscuits & gravy. Many brothers and friends attended and enjoyed an informational video about our organization. Breakfast was wrapped up around 9:45 and many brothers and friends lingered about the lodge in conversation. There seemed to be many interested in our fine organization. We hope to see all of the new and old faces again soon!
On Monday March 12 we had several visitors from Bailey-Onton 538 and Henderson 958 attend our meeting. After some business, which included voting on four new petitions, the W.M. Jesse Hurt of Bailey-Onton 538 collected the Traveling Gavel that we had grown accustomed to.
The interest in picking up the Traveling Gavel is a great tool in getting lodges to travel in their district to visit other lodges. After giving the gavel to W.M. Jesse Hurt, there was some discussion about our lodge coming and getting it back. They jokingly asked that we at least let them keep it a couple of weeks before we come back for it.
On another note from the meeting, we did vote on four new petitions that we obtained as a result of our Friend to Friend Breakfast. All four were accepted and a degree is being planned for our next meeting on March 26. A meal will be served at 6 pm and our business meeting will start at 7 pm, with the degree to begin shortly after.
Every Freemason has thoughts on what it is to be a mason – at least, he should. Previously we talked about voting for the good of the order and accepting those that had desirable qualities and characteristics. We are now faced with a difficult question:
What qualities should a candidate, a potential brother, or a Mason possess?
As long as being numbered a Freemason has been considered a badge of honor, brothers have asked themselves this very question every time a man has requested a petition. There is no definite answer to this question. Nonetheless, Freemasons would likely agree that the following characteristics should be easily identified in a candidate and potential brother.
- Faithful – True to one’s word to his wife, his family, his church, his job, and his lodge.
- Dependable – Worthy of trust; Reliable.
- Integrity – Honest, moral, and ethical. A Freemason’s reputation should precede him.
- Charitable – Generous in donations to relieve the needs of others.
We undoubtably should be looking for these qualities in candidates. We should remember, however, that Freemasonry has as its goal the growth of a man. None of us, as we stood as a candidate in waiting, were blameless. None of us, upon entering the lodge, possessed all the traits of a Mason. When we investigate a brother, we should not be looking for a man who has already pinnacled to the height of masonic teaching. Rather, we are looking for a man whose existing foundation is strong enough to support a life’s work of building with the tools of Masonic teaching. We are looking for an upright candidate who is willing to learn and grow.
Brothers, what qualities and traits do you believe a Mason should possess?
If you have stumbled across this site and are not a Freemason but believe yourself to have the traits discussed here, there are hundreds of thousands of Freemasons world-wide who would be honored to discuss our honorable fraternity with you.
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We all have opinions of what it takes to be a Mason. Those characteristics that we revere and look for in those that petition our lodge for membership.
Sometimes we find ourselves in a predicament with a petitioner that may be related or a good friend of a member in our lodge that we respect. We may know something on the petitioner that we feel like we should reject their petition, but our respect for the brother that turned in the petition weighs heavy on our mind.
It is times like these that we have to remember to “Vote for the good of the order.” Masonry is bigger than any one member. Lowering our standards to allow someone to join our great fraternity that we know does not meet the character of a mason is not the best option. What have we done to our fraternity? Could our actions or lack thereof be viewed as un-masonic? Have we done the greatest harm we could do to our fraternity? If the addition of your new member results in several members getting upset and leaving, have we really done the right thing?
It’s times like these that I want us all to remember to “vote for the good of the order.”. I truly believe if the person petitioning knew the turmoil that their petition would cause, if they were truly a mason by heart, they would withdraw their petition rather than disrupt the peace and harmony of the lodge.
Our first line of defense is our investigating committee. The duties of the investigating committee are so important. They are one of the first to meet a potential new member. The quality of their report is crucial in preventing someone that does not have the qualities we desire in our members from joining. Their lack of fully carrying out their duties could also allow someone in that should have been kept out.
Have you been faced with this dilemma?
If so, how did you handle it?
Tonight, several members from Jerusalem Lodge 9 and one brother from Indiana traveled to Owensboro for our Brother, Dave Willingham, stepson that was receiving his EA.
Darren Simpson has now joined the greatest fraternity by becoming a member of Yellow Banks 957 of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.
Several of us met at our home lodge, before traveling to Owensboro. We met up with some additional members at the Old Hickory BBQ for a fine meal before heading over to Yellow Banks Lodge Hall. We arrived about an hour early, but when your with your brothers, that extra time allowed us the opportunity to catch up, tell a few stories, and share some laughs. Before long it was time to start the meeting. We left after the degree and headed back home with a little extra joy in our hearts knowing we were there to share this special event with Dave & Darren.
Benjamin Franklin speaks to the Masonic fraternity.