Rodney M Bliss

What Induced You To Become A Mason?

We are a secret society

That scares some people.

We are a fraternity

That angers some people.

We give no concern to religion or politics

That confuses some people.

I’m a Mason. A member of the Free & Accepted Masons of Utah. Specifically I’m a member of Story Lodge #4. Story Lodge is the oldest lodge chartered under the Grand Lodge of Utah. It was chartered on October 8, 1872. The first leader, a position called Grand Master was Captain William Rufus Story.

Interestingly, Captain Story, or Worshipful Master Story, was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Mormon. In fact, none of the Masons in those early days were Latter-day Saints. Many, like Capt Story, were in Utah due to military service.

In fact, it wasn’t until 1983 that Latter-day Saints were allowed to join the Masons. The two organizations had a pretty significant falling out in the early days of the Mormon church. And the Masons, an organization that is hundreds of years old and traces it’s mythology back thousands of years to Soloman’s Temple in Jerusalem, has a very long memory.

I became exposed to Masonry through my uncle. He was a lifelong Mason. I later found out that my grandfather had also been a Mason all his life. But, simply having family members who were members of the fraternity is not enough to induce someone to make the commitment. And actually carries no weight in Masonic circles. It’s in no way a patriarchy.

In learning about Masonry, from my uncle and from the men who would later become my Masonic brothers, I learned about Masonry. I learned its history, but more importantly I learned its present. I learned about the current state of Masonry.

I’m older than 50 but younger than 60. And yet, I’m the oldest in my lodge. Not only have I been a member of the Lodge the longest, I’m also the eldest. While it may seem like Masons are a bunch of white-haired old men, the truth is that a younger generation has joined the ranks and strengthened the order.

Masonry is specifically designed to make good men better; better fathers, better husbands, better brothers and better friends. But, is that enough to join the fraternity? Certainly there are other organizations that help you become better men. Many civic and church organizations do a great job of helping to better their members.

Masons and Masonry for me transcend both my familial connection and its noble mission. I find I’m drawn to the commaraderie. My lodge is made of men that I like and I care about, and who care about me. They are less than a family but more than aquaintences. They are men with whom I share a mutual trust and with trust, respect.

This year I’m the Chaplain for my lodge. Mostly it’s a ceremonial role. I say non denominational prayers at the start and end of each meeting. But, I’m also supposed to provide comfort for our members in time of sorrow or grief.

This year, that’s a real possibility. One member has a family member dying. There are will many of us that will deal with the COVID virus infecting our families.

I’m thinking that the Chaplain’s role will be more than ceremonial this year. And througout the year when called on, I’ll answer the call. I’ll provide comfort where I can and stand with those that mourn when needed.

And when it’s my turn to weep, when it’s my turn to suffer, I know that these men, these imperfect yet faithful men will stand by me. For as long as they may be needed. After all, Masons have long memories.

That is what induced me to become a Mason.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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