Page 24 - Montana Freemason Feb 13
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Montana Freemason  February 2013                           Volume 86 Number 1

                   ARE WE TRULY MASONS

                   Jack Levitt (6, 18), PGM-CA

There continue to be emerging problems                     charge refers to our Order as honorable, as tending
       in our modern society. Changes are being            to make all men so who are strictly obedient to its
effected improperly by violations of standards and          precepts and that we are to manifest our fidelity by a
rules. Changes are necessary but should be attained        strict observance of the Constitution of the Fraternity.
legitimately by legislation or other appropriate means.
  When the foundation of trust is shattered by scorn         The second degree charge demands that our laws
for rules, the result is a fragmentation of trust of the   and regulations be strenuously enforced and that we
basic fabric, which results in ultimate loss of values.    should always be ready to assist in seeing them duly
Unhappily, pervasive dishonesty is prevalent, not only     executed.
in society, but in our beloved Fraternity.
  An organization is known not                               The third degree tells us that duty and honor alike bind
only by its members abilities,                                               us strenuously to enforce by precept
but also by their attitudes. The                                             and example a steady obedience to the
history of our Fraternity is the                                             tenets of Freemasonry. We are therein
judgment of our Fraternity. The                                              also told to caution the inexperienced
world judges us as they perceive                                             against any breach of fidelity and that
us. To select those ordinances and                                           no motive should make us violate our
tenets of Freemasonry we wish to comply with and                             vows.
violate others is not only a direct violation of our
obligations, but is to continue a Fraternity built upon      While there may be a permissive attitude of non-
sand. Whether violations concern liquor or raffles or        Freemasons, Freemasons themselves should remain
advertising or any other prohibited activity, the rules    unaffected by such lowered standards. To reason - “I
relating to them lose their force as a result. More        might as well cheat because others do”, or sell raffle
importantly, our standards begin to crumble.               tickets when prohibited because it is for a good cause,
  The most precious wealth in the world is that of         or hold a special or stated meeting in a prohibited
established character. While not all of us can become      place, is to collaborate in the tearing apart of the
famous leaders, each of us can be pure of heart and        fabric of trust and the dismantling of the basis of our
faithful to our principles. The greatest influence of      structure.
Freemasonry is the eloquent influence of integrity.
  Our great Order has at all times religiously preserved     The best hope of reversing the trend toward
the teachings of moral self-respect and fidelity to our    ignoring rules and to restore those standards which
trusts and ideals. It has endeavored to endow us with      form the cornerstone of our nation and our Fraternity
spiritual strength and moral fortitude. Our principles     is to understand that we are indeed mandated to be
are the fundamental basis of our Fraternity. We have       inflexible in our fidelity and to familiarize ourselves
the right to demand deeds of principle and integrity       with our rules, which we swear to uphold, and then
rather than the negligence of indifference or the           to act in conformity with them. If we do so, we will
treason of violations.                                     not only be heeding the prompting of right reason
  If truth is truly a divine attribute and the foundation  and the voice of conscience, but we will be entitled to
of every virtue, then to be good and true is more than     self-esteem and we will set a good example for others
a charge, it is a command. Our teachings of inflexible     to emulate.
fidelity are so extensive that to make reference to
them is to state a commonplace. The first degree             If we cannot justify them by abiding by Freemasonry’s
                                                           moral and philosophical principles, how can we expect
                                                           non-Freemasons to accept them or to join us to learn
                                                           them? Individual wills or desires, and even those
                                                           which are collective, cannot be imposed irrespective
                                                           of lawfully enacted ordinances, because to do so is

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