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Montana Freemason  November 2014                              Volume 90 Number 3

perform a kind deed, say hello, or just smile. Common         review. This has nothing to do with the brothers that
courtesy implies that all of those things are expected        serve on the committee or their completed work. It is
of us. It doesn’t matter that those people might know         because somewhere along the way we de-valued our
that we are Masons. Masonry has given us a foundation         fraternity and our teachings. We may have failed in our
to practice what is right and a place to understand           investigation of a prospect to determine whether he is
the importance of doing good at all times. It is our          a man of right mind and right intentions. As Masons,
responsibility to show that to the world.                     we must treat our lodge and our fraternity as our own
In addition to understanding the teachings of                 family. Those of you who are married are well aware
Freemasonry, we must engage our members as officers           of the vetting process that takes place when evaluating
and key figures within the lodge regardless of their          a potential mate. For some, it might be more detailed
length of time in the fraternity. I like to call this guided  and involved than it is for others, but it is present. The
ambition. Most of our current Lodge Masters have              overarching concern in the vetting process is whether
been Master Masons for only 5 years! This means that          there is trust on both sides and how that trust can be
these men were initiated into their lodges and jumped         maintained. When we are charged with investigating a
right into positions of leadership. This could be that        potential member of our fraternity, we should recall
the lodge was in need of officers or it could be that         the importance of trust. We can ill afford to have a
the individual was inspired to get involved quickly.          member who brings harm into our lodge. We must
Millennials, as they are affectionately referred to, have     remember our first entrance into the lodge to avoid
ambition and believe that they can take on anything.          bringing anything offensive or defensive into the lodge
Ambition and belief are great things if they are guided       whereby its peace and harmony would be disturbed.
in a positive direction. We cannot let these young            This will make our lodges safe places to practice our
Masons accept more responsibility than they can               ritual and strengthen fraternal bonds without suspicion.
handle. It is admirable that they want to be involved in      When we focus on quality, both sides win.
the various service and philanthropic components of           As trustful members of Freemasonry, each of us must
our Craft. It is great that they want to go through the       be proud that we are Masons. We must develop the
line as quickly as possible to become a leader of the         ability to discuss our fraternity with others, highlighting
lodge. It is praiseworthy that they want to be involved       our own passion for it. We should never fear telling
with as much as possible at the lodge, district, division,    others we belong to this fraternity. When asked why
and Grand Lodge level. However, misguided youth               we belong, we should be able to discuss the merits of
and ambition can lead to disaster, burnout, and the loss      the fraternity in general. More importantly, we should
of talent that, properly honed, could return dividends        be able to explain the merits of the fraternity for us
for years to come.                                            specifically. Conveying someone else’s passion or using
In order to find this kind of talent and ambition, it         someone else’s words as your own is easy. Exhibiting
is important that you show interest in the visitors to        your own passion for the fraternity that has given you
your lodge in order to see if Masonry is actually what        so much and continues to do so on a regular basis
they are seeking. When an individual comes to your            takes deep reflection. As you go into the world outside
lodge and states that he would like to become a Mason,        of our lodges and you find yourself wearing a Masonic
you should take an interest and ask questions. Does he        lapel pin, you should be able to explain what it means
want to become a Mason because he watched National            to you expressing your own passion.
Treasure or read Angels and Demons and thought, “I            One of the merits of our fraternity about which I am
want to do that?” Or has he reached a point in his            proud is our collective strength in helping our members
life where he feels that there is something missing           and our communities. Earlier this year, I spoke at
and his research has led him to Masonry? Our current          the dedication of a baseball field and emphasized
membership is far more knowledgeable regarding                teamwork. There is a belief in our present-day society
Masonry than previous generations due to the amount           that there is no longer a need for teamwork or worse
of information that is accessible electronically. We          that there is no place for it. We have become a society
must be aware of the information the visitor has and          of individuals who think that assistance from others
determine whether our fraternity has what they are            isn’t necessary because they are able to do things on
looking for.                                                  their own. Even when we are given assistance from
Ultimately, it is important that we focus on the quality      someone else to meet a goal, we often fail to give
of our membership rather than the quantity. If we             proper credit. Our lodges and our fraternity are a team,
are a group of men of the highest quality, others             and it is our collective strength that allows us to be
will want to join us. Since I joined Masonry, the one         of assistance to so many people throughout the state,
committee that I wish was no longer necessary is trial        the country, and the world. It is our ability to work as
                                                              a team that allows us to achieve the level of sPuacgcee1s5s
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