Grand Master’s Message – Summer 2023

     For many years I have heard how Masonry is dying. Like all the fraternal and service organizations that are dwindling, “People today just do not want to join.” Masonry is not like other organizations though. We are growing. We are on pace, even with the COVID shut down, to have raised more Masons in the past five years than we did in the previous five year span. In roughly the three years we have been able to do degree work more men have been raised Master Masons than in the preceding five years. We have positive growth.

     Grand Master Arby Humphrey stated, “America needs more Masons.” It wasn’t about the number of men, but the number of men living and behaving as Masons. In a world of egos here are men who humbly recognize the need to chip away at the rough edges of their character. In a world of greed here are men willing to give both their wealth and talents to helping those in need. In a world filled with rudeness and incivility here are gentleman. In a world of moral flexibility here are men with strong moral compasses. In a world of increasing darkness here are men that a particular light shines through. These are the men Grand Master Humphrey spoke of. Grand Master Scott Pedley explained why we need more of these men. In a world that often seems harsh and uncaring here are men, “stirring up good.”

     There are many men looking for what we have found. Men wanting to improve themselves and improve the world. Men looking to improve the world not for themselves but for their children and grandchildren, their neighbors and those in need. Men are looking for a moral compass, tradition, that tie to the past while building a better future. Men are looking for a place where concepts like honor, justice, and accountability still have meaning. They are looking for friendship and the company of good men. These men are coming to us to find these things. Let’s make sure they find it.

     We have, you have the opportunity to make a difference in a man’s life and in the life of his sons. Bring that good man in from the darkness. After he is raised keep working with him. Become his friend, his mentor. In the corporate and academic world mentors are often assigned to guide someone through a new experience. A true mentor is more than that. They often start out as a teacher or a coach but they end up a friend who teaches about life.  There is no time limit. It is not a matter of moving a man from point A to point B but more a matter of an experienced friend that walks with you on your journeys. A man who is willing to share his knowledge and experience but also his friendship. A mentors great ambition is to see the other man succeed. He often takes greater pride in his protégées success than his own. There is also no limit on the number of mentors a man may have.

     The men knocking on our door are seeking something they are not finding elsewhere. They are looking for role models and teachers. They are looking for good men to discuss their life with and share his company. A brother who will listen and challenge him. Someone to hold real conversation with and not worry about social media bullies or taboos. In Freemasonry we call it “Brotherly Love” and “Relief.” Extend that right hand of friendship to the next man to knock on the door of your lodge. A Masonic mentor often teaches without words letting his actions speak for him. They are coming. They are coming and what they are looking for is men like you. A role model. A good man. A Mason.  “As iron sharpens iron so to one good man sharpens another.”

     Past Grand Master Humphrey was right. The world needs more Masons. The eyes of the world are upon you. Get caught stirring up good. It is time to get to work. There is much to do. Masonry is alive and well and active. You are a good man. A good man who sought the company of other good men and that “As iron sharpens iron so one good man will sharpen another.”

To all my Mentors. Thank-you for being the iron against which I am continually trying to sharpen myself.