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          ow  and  then,    I  guess  we  all  pause  for  a  few  words that are used from the very first Degree. No,
      Nminutes  to  think  about  how  Freemasonry  this virtue of which I speak is not a concept that other
     has affected us. I know in my heart that Masonry -  words represent, but it is one in which I found myself
     the whole of it - from my very first entrance into a  deficient many years ago.
     Lodge  to  the  Fellowship  and  Friendships  that  have
     developed, the many acƟviƟes it has afforded me,          I’m speaking of Tolerance.
     the beauty and grace of the ritual - has made a beƩer
     man of me, has upliŌed my spirits at low Ɵmes, and       By  Tolerance  is  meant  not  just  the  endurance  of
     has unquesƟonably been a posiƟve influence on my  others’ religious or spiritual views or their opinions
     life.                                                  and  lifestyles  and  socio-economic  status.  True
                                                            Tolerance is an aƫtude of genuine permissiveness. I
       The  virtues  it  teaches  and  ours  to  learn  are  the  believe that most of us would agree that Tolerance is a
     very best virtues a man can possess. Each Degree has  Moral Virtue worthy of our acceptance and pracƟĐĞ.
     more lessons. It is a progressive Science. Striving to
     fulfill those lessons and virtues makes uƐ ďĞƩer men.     Why then is Tolerance absent from the moral
                                                            framework that defines Freemasonry? Perhaps
       It troubles me, however, that as I reflect on the many  its  omission  was  not  merely  an  oversight  by  the
     virtues that Freemasonry emphasizes, I have come to  ritualists and symbolists of long ago who forged and
     realize that there is one virtue which Freemasonry  shaped  our  Masonry.  A  careful  search  of  the  Bible
     has  glaringly  omiƩed.  Oh,  I  realize  that  there  are  will reveal that storied instances of INtolerance are
     some words that represent laudable virtues that are  far  more  prevalent  than  those  of  tolerance. God is
     absent from our ritual but that are covered by other  portrayed in many books of the Bible, especially in
     words. Words like “honesty” and “reliability,” which  the  Old  Testament,  as  a  vengeful  and  intolerant
     I don’t recall having seen or heard in the Work, but  god.  Joshua  and  I  Samuel  and  Deuteronomy  and
     words whose concept is inherently present in other  LeviƟcus and other books of the Bible illustrate this
      Montana Freemason                                                                          Page 8                                       July/August 2021   Volume 97 No. 3
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