Our first steps along this journey are met blindfolded, full of mystery and with only the companionship of an unknown Brother to guide our way, guard against dangers and tell us what to say and do. As many before, I left the Lodge an Entered Apprentice, who was told many things and whose spinning head was quickly forgetting the many visions, experiences and knowledge imparted.
A mentor was assigned to help my next steps. My many questions were answered. I was taught the meaning of symbols, words and actions experienced. As I quickly learned, this Brotherhood is based on reliance of one another, where each man is critical to the growth and success of every other.
As I made the final steps toward becoming a Master Mason, the things I first experienced passively, and then later taught the meaning of, were remembered and the pieces began to fall into place. The Hidden Mysteries of this Great Organization began to fit like stones in a wall.
Once a Master Mason, I took a step that many of us do not. I became active in our Lodge and the many other affiliated organizations. With the encouragement of others, I learned parts in our Degrees, sat in chairs of office, took part in acts of Fellowship, voiced my opinions and offered leadership where needed.
Masonry has many meanings and purposes to our Brothers. For some, the simple experience of becoming a Mason and counted as an accepted member of this honorable organization is the capstone of their desire. Still others take pleasure in teaching the history, meaning and purpose of our Great Organization to those that seek further Light. And for some Brothers, involvement — to whatever degree — gives them pleasure.
Certainly Masonry has many meanings, many purposes for all of us. One meaning is the occasion for fraternity and Brotherly love. Another is the chance to be charitable to the needy, and yet another purpose is the opportunity to improve the life of a Brother.
In this coming year, let us guide those who desire admission, serving as a faithful and trusted companion. Let us teach those willing to learn, so that they might do the same for another, and let us participate and lead those who look to us, so that they might follow in our footsteps and later seek our counsel.
As July is the month we celebrate America, in memory of our national birthday, Freemasons along with all Americans of every race and creed should renew their vows of love, honor and loyalty to our Constitution, our democracy, and our flag, which is the immortal symbol of all that is sacred in our life, law and history. We ask all to join hands and hearts in behalf of a greater America tomorrow, worthy of the mighty America of the past to which, like the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, “We Mutually Pledge to Each Other our Lives, Fortunes and Sacred Honor.”