Confused and Dissapointed
About two months ago I met a FellowCraft Mason at a district deputy night, who was to be raised to the Third Degree at his Mother Lodge the following week. The enthusiastic Mason invited me to his raising and I was happy to attend. I was even more pleased in retrospect because the young man was an excellent candidate. It is rare these days that we see work done so flawlessly that it shows that sometimes the student becomes the master.
The following month I returned to his lodge to see him prove himself in the Third Degree and was equally pleased to see that he had learned this material to an equal level of proficiency.
At the end of the meeting he asked if we could meet the following week for a chat. He did not disclose what he wished to discuss, but I assumed it had to do with the Craft and immediately agreed. We met had lunch and I was surprised to learn that this eager and competent newly made Master Mason had many concerns about the Craft. For indeed the fraternity had me measure, weighed and found wanting.
I asked him if he would express his sentiments in the form of an article and promised to showcase them in this venue. What follows Brethren is an open letter to the fraternity. Let it be a waking call to us all that the time has come, if our fraternity is to survive, to get back to the basics.
An Open Letter To The Brethren
I am writing this letter to let you, my brothers, know how I feel about how my experience with "Masonry" has affected my life. I am a Master Mason and I have been to several lodges since I have become a Mason.
My family history dates back to three Crusades, a lineage of which I am very proud. My ancestors were Scottish and I am keeping with family traditions and beliefs. I have been amazed at the attitude and work ethics of the Craft, which is "hundreds of years old". I constantly hear the word masonry used in lodge, and not Masonry. I see some brothers who are flawless in their work and obligations, and others, who you would have to wonder how much time was spent on them, or if they understand that these obligations are ancient, and have meanings to them of which I don't really think they understand.
Another thing that I see is a number of Lodges closing. This is distressing to all Masons, and I am sure that you have heard the same things that I have been told, "We don't have enough 'New Members'. Young people do not have the time or interest in joining."
I hope that you will not take this in the wrong light, but the reason I joined Masonry was not to go to dinners or to see how many degrees I could obtain but rather, to live a lifestyle that is not found in today's society. By this I mean that a Brotherhood, as I understand it, is a group of men who are firm in their convictions of helping one another, no matter what the circumstance, as long as it is "lawful" and not contrary to the laws of God.
I will continue to pursue knowledge within the Craft and help any Mason who requires help, if in my power to do so. I believe that in today's society, and especially now more than ever, considering what is happening in the world, that we as" Masons", should be moving to build our lodges stronger with Masonic education and doing more for our fellow brethren.
There are a number of new Masons who are joining the Craft, who want to seek knowledge of old and new. These members who are young, are not joining other organizations because they can't. They are coming to Masonry because of the fact, that their character is comprised of all of the things that we require in able to join our brotherhood. Some of them also will continue on to Templarism.
In closing I would like to leave you, My Brethren, with this thought:
Think back to the last paragraph of your first obligation, and I hope that you will see why I wrote this, and hope that you will understand.
Confused and Dissapointed
A Newly Raised Master Mason