Page 17 - MFM Nov 2014
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Montana Freemason Proficiency andNtohveemLbeor 2s0t14Art of MentoringVolume 90 Number 3

                                      Blake Gardiner, (3) PM

Ianadmhaapvperobaecehninrgefmleyct3in0gthbaancnkivoenrstahreycahsaangMeasstthear tMI ahsaovne,                                                    there. These lessons, or lectures, or really discussions
                                                                                                                                                  would take another hour or more, taking up more of our
seen take place in Montana Freemasonry. One of the lessons than the actual proficiency work.
things that really pops out is the change in the process of
becoming proficient in the 3 degrees, and how mentoring By the time I had managed to commit the entire sequence
has changed over the past 3 decades.                                                                                                              of Questions and Answers, Obligations and signs to
                                                                                                                                                  mdeeaml oabryo,uht efrheeamd aaslosonreyn, saunrdedittshahtisItohryad. leLaornoekdinag gboaockd
lWodhgeeneIvewnats. iTnhiteiraetewd,erpeafsusleldy satnadfferadisdeedg,reite wteaasmas,manadjoar                                                  now I realize that the way he mentored me provided a
number of brothers on the sidelines to witness the events. good solid base for my Masonic journey. I had tools
But more importantly, after the degree I was coached and and knowledge that greatly helped me understand what
mentored extensively in preparation of the next degree. I was doing, how freemasonry was organized, and what
My mentor was the late Worshipful Brother Elton Andrew. freemasonry was. He also gave me tools to work with to
We would meet at his home on a Saturday afternoon, or                                                                                             enhance my Masonic Education even more.
hmoauyrbetoa4w5eemkidnauyteesvwenoirnkgi,nganodnheteawcohuinldg smpeendtohraelftuarnn                                                             Looking back now, I think one of the most beneficial
the proficiency. Now, it is important for the younger changes was allowing the lodges to conduct business on
members to realize that back then proficiency was what the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees, allowing
is now sometimes referred to as the “Long Proficiency.” the new brothers to attend the lodge meetings while
We not only memorized the obligation and signs, but the working on their degrees. However, I am not so sure that
entire Questions and Answers (Now usually only given                                                                                              tohfecchhaannggees. inIthuendperrosftiacnidentchyatreinqusiormemeecnatssews athsethsehobretesrt
acasnaalsescuturereyoafuteIratmhendeeigthreere abygiaftecdouapclteoro, fnobrroathreitrusa.)listI,                                                 memorization requirement is needed, but I also think that
and learning the entire catechism of the questions and the newly made brothers loose much from not knowing
answers was even more daunting that just learning the the entire Question and Answer portion of the proficiency,
obligation. I admit I really struggled trying to commit and more importantly loosing that extra time working with
all of that language into my memory. I was sure I would their mentor to learn the extra things about freemasonry
never learn that whole proficiency. However, I did learn                                                                                          tobhrfaowtthceeoermkwse.shofroiTsmhmetrheenetiiosnrfsionorgmmteahtlehlmiensgsoonsnepseoscnhiaaolrnetehd,abtoyvistehrleoasletpaefrrrniooemdd
cwitaiwnthesltjliuleslntdoaoulgtihthtelteqoubperausstssiho,inannsgdaunepdv.eannAsnwnodwe,r,sIntpeiaasrrtmlyoyf30tohpyeienlaeiorcsntuotrnhe,asIt,  the extended time sitting with a well-informed brother
having learned those Q & As, made learning other parts of who is explaining and teaching broader, comprehensive
the ritual much easier.                                                                                                                           masonic lessons, rather than just those minimally required
                                                                                                                                                  to advance. I have to wonder if that extensive, one-on-
At that time Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts were                                                                                            imosneemnmobteenrpstaohrritpinpogafarnttidhceidpeapvtrieoolbonlpaemnmdenrwteotietfhnmtitaohsneo.ncicururnendtersmtaansdoinnigc
TMnohatesocanallsnodwcideoadutledtoreaccaettuitveaenllddyhriaestgtdeuenlgdarreLem,odeaengtdeintgchose,mn omonnullynyicrMeattuiaosnnteesdr.
to either return his proficiency, or to receive his next I often hear that “mentoring” is something lodges should
degree. The lodge would open on the Master Mason be offering, but it also seems to me that the incentive to
Degree, drop down to the lower degree and admit the produce a viable mentoring program has been lost, not
candidate long enough to demonstrate his proficiency, or                                                                                          bbspeyecnathduesaemrietpdilusecnet’itdmgemooliedna,imrbnuainlt gbreemcqauouirrseeemthiteaninstnsj,u’tsatrnetdahleltyhbesaurnepepbeoodrnteetdos
rtMheecaeslioovndegdheeigwsroeduee.lgdrecelo. seTthheant dheegwreoeualdndleraevtuernthteo ltohdegMe,asatnedr                                      basic minimum of instructions. Perhaps if the emphasis
                                                                                                                                                  was placed more on spending sufficient quality time in
After Worshipful Brother Elton had worked with me on instruction and learning, rather than just the minimum
the piece of memorization for that session, so I could go amount of time to move on the retention and involvement
home and work repeating it from memory for the next of members would improve.
few days or week he would then start in on a discussion
taebromust,farmeeomnagsoonthreyr, tiitdsbhiitsstoorfyi,nittesrepsrto.toMcoolsst,lysyhme buoselsdatnhde
Coaches Handbook as a guide and would expand from

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