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Lodge Education Officer = LEO =

Masonic Conundrum

by L. C. Addison, Education Committee

Leadership, Education, Oratory

Stan Shapiro, GLEO

“The secret of Masonry, like the secret of life, can be known only by those who seek it. It is, in fact, an open secret, and each man knows it according to his quest and capacity. Like all things worth knowing, no one can know it for another and no man can know it alone.”

  • D . Joseph Fort Newton

Dear Brethren,

When he spoke in December last year, MW Raymond S. J. Daniels, Grand Master of Ontario Canada said: “Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest institution devoted to adult education. Through our rites and ceremonies, called Degrees, a man is guided through a life-long journey of discovery—discovery of himself—by a five-part course in self-discipline: self- examination, self-discovery, self-analysis, self-realization and self-fulfillment. By serious study, extensive reading, industri- ous research, candid discussion and pene- trating reflection, the individual comes to know and improve himself, thereby achiev- ing his personal potential.”

Think about how Brother Daniels’ phi- losophy applies to your experience as a Freemason. Brother Daniels’ remarks sug- gest the process of becoming a better man is not something you can obtain passively by attending blue lodge. To reach your person- al potential as a Mason you need to put seri- ous effort into improving yourself. Masonic education, along with the discovery of your- self, can help you become a better man through that life-long journey. It takes effort on your part and can be fun. The old adage “You get what you put into it” applies.

We are fortunate to have a number of ways to enhance our journey. Some of the things available to you are: discussions with your brothers, your Blue Lodge LEO, the Grand Lodge Education Committee and LEO, the Grand Lodge Website, the Masonic Light program, the internet, Masonic books, the Grand Lodge Masonic Book Club, the Masonic Service Association of America (http://www.msana.com), Masonic Research Lodges, the auxiliary Masonic organizations and the mentoring programs at the Grand Lodge website and in your Blue Lodge.

The Masonic Light Program encourages you to gain proficiency in seven of the nine areas of Masonic Education: Leadership, Masonic History, Ritual, Masonic Philosophy & Symbolism, Computers and Masonry on the Internet, Contemporary Enlightenment, Mentoring, Lodge Administration and Concordant/Appendant Bodies. Applications can be found on the Grand Lodge Website or from Adam Lang, the program coordinator, at atlang@charter.net or 218-386-3508 or from the Grand Secretary, Douglas Campbell, at grandlodge@qwest.net or 952-948-6700 or 1-800-245-6050.

Two good books to read and discuss with your brothers about the symbols in the Masonic degrees are: The Craft and Its Symbols, by Allen Roberts, and The Secrets of Hiram Abif, by John Heisner. You may find good Masonic books in your lodge or auxiliary Masonic organization libraries and the Grand Lodge bookstore. There are many good Masonic e-books. One good free source is at www.pheonixmasonry.org.

Two recommended books for the offi- cers of your lodge are The Maxwell Leadership Bible, by John C. Maxwell. It’s a great tool to use as a personal course in leadership. The other book is The Master’s Book, by Carl Claudy. It can be found online as an e-book at www.phoenixma- sonry.org as The Master’s Handbook.

There are several good Masonic research associations. Some are:

  • 1.

    Philalethes Society (http://freemasonry. org), and there is a local chapter.

  • 2.

    Quatuor Coronati Lodge: http://quatuorcoronati.com (Contact Mark Campbell, secretary, for application at campbell@tcq.net).

  • 3.

    The California Research Lodge: http://www.calodges.org/scrl. As a member you may receive a free copy of The Craft and Its Symbols for each new Entered Apprentice in your blue lodge if you notify them before the degree is scheduled.

  • 4.

    The Masonic Society: http://themasonicsociety.com

  • 5.

    Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry: freemasons=freemasonry.com Your lodge officers, LEO and

Education Program and mentoring com- mittee are also good resources to assist you in achieving your personal potential. The LEO and education committee pre- sentations and discussions can give you Masonic education that you cannot get from books or the internet.

The Lodge is a place to give and receive fellowship, growing new friend- ships, Brotherly Love, and reinforcing your male identity. Most lodges mentor a new candidate through the three degrees. However we can best retain our Master Masons by continuing to be available to them as they stumble to gain more light on their journey. Brothers need to share what they have learned with each other. Because of the erosion of male identity in our present society, the new, younger gen- eration Masons can benefit from the men- toring and bonding with older generation Masons. We can encourage younger gen- eration Masons to finish their training, become better husbands and fathers, stick with their jobs and become better men. The lessons we learn about truth, male identity, brotherly love, service and chari- ty ideally will be carried over into the outside world. “Masonry is a way of life” is a great slogan, but it’s a way of life only when a Mason lives the lessons of Masonry in his everyday life.

We need new members but we must not forget to utilize the brothers we have. They are the backbone of the Lodge. We need to get our missing brothers back in Lodge. A good education program and social pro- gram will help. In addition to your lodge program and mentoring committees, does your lodge have a calling committee to call brothers who are not coming to meetings? We need to call a missing brother to ask him if there is anything that would help him attend or if he is ill or busy with work or family or may need a ride. We can show we really care about him, his family, and his welfare and not just call him when we need his dues money.

Contact information

Home phone: (952)935-8137 My preferred Masonic email address is: shapiro.stanley@gmail.com.

The Masonic Question Box has a new email address: masonic.question.box@gmail.com

A Mason’s Apron

I see by his apron that he is a Mason;

He sees by my apron, I’m a Mason too.

We see by our aprons that we’re each other’s brother.

Now if you’d earn this apron we’d be brothers to you.

W.B. Alvin F. Bohne Ancient Landmark No. 5

Conundrum #27

Again due to circumstances beyond control, we don’t have the names of those who submitted the correct response to our last conundrum; we apologize for any inconvenience and disappointment. Here is the Conundrum for this issue.

Conundrum #28

What is the “Aporrheta” of Freemasonry? When you have the answer you can submit it by sending an email to masonic-

conundrum@gmail.com. Or by regular mail to Masonic Conundrum, c/o The Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of MN, 11501 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington, MN 55437-3699. Please remember to include your name and your Lodge name and number. We will keep track of who sends in the correct answers, and the first one by date and time from each area of our jurisdiction will receive a nice prize from the Grand Lodge Education Committee.

Masonic research is fun!

Established laws, usages, and customs of the Fraternity by Ed Halpaus, FPS, Junior Grand Steward

[I am pleased W.B. Ed Halpaus is a member of

our Grand Lodge Education Committee and plans to continue to publish articles on the Mehr Licht (More Light) website. This is his

most recent article.

Stan Shapiro, GLEO]

There is an announcement in nearly each issue of The Minnesota Mason. The program of the education committee is well-received and fills an important role for Minnesota Freemasonry. I’m pleased about that, because I think it’s important for a Mason to have a place to go to for answers to any question about Masonry.

When the question box began, I said there might be a time when an answer to a question might be published in The Minnesota Mason if I felt it would be of interest to other Masons too. A question arose about a Mason wanting to use a book when doing ritual. The question asked if there was proof that officers are to memo- rize the Masonic ritual (including the open- ing and closing ceremonies) in Minnesota, and that a book on the work should not be open in Lodge. Here’s the answer.

I think the definitive answer to the question can be found in Section G 5.01 (d) of the Masonic Code, or the Book of Constitutions as it is called in the ritual (since this question concerns the ritual.) Here is that section:

Section G 5.01(d) In 1955, the Grand Lodge approved the printing and use thereof in separate pamphlet form for the conven- ience of o icers, members and candidates, that portion of the work as is required to be committed to memory in all three degrees as it appears in the O icial Cipher. The Master of each Lodge is responsible for the pam- phlets and is required to account for them to the Board of Custodians when requested.

The part about the pamphlets in the quoted section of the code is not the important part, in my opinion, but rather the part where it says “that portion of the work as is required to be committed to memory in all three degrees as it appears in the Official Cipher.”

“The work as is required to be committed to memory in all three degrees” is sometimes an interesting phrase, because many times a Mason thinks the work of a degree begins when the candidate enters the Lodge Room. But, in fact, the work begins with the opening of Lodge on a particular degree, no matter whether an actual degree follows, or if a Stated of Special Communication is held. (The opening and closing of a Lodge is part of the ritual work of the Lodge.) So the bottom line is the officers (and any Brother) are to memorize to the best of their ability the parts of the ritual they are going to participate in— and the Blue Cipher Book should not be used in Lodge. Just as a reminder for all of us to remember: “A Lodge is a certain number of Masons duly assembled with the Holy Bible, Square & Compass, and Charter or Warrant empowering them to work,” so a practice for a degree is not “in Lodge,” nor is a School of Instruction “in Lodge,” as such, and thus the Ciphers are used for these purposes, but are not used in an actual Lodge Communications.

Also in Section G 5.01 (c) it tells about the cipher a brother might want to use in Lodge: (c) In 1952 the Grand Lodge directed the Board of Custodians to revise the authorized Cipher for all degree work into one (1) volume to include the first and one (1) other principal letter of all words containing three (3) or more let- ters and indicate plurals by a bar under the first letter in the cryptic designation thereof. At the Annual Communication of 1953 the Certified Cipher was adopted, repealing all prior resolutions concerning the Official Cipher.

  • I hope that all of this will remind

us that when we are to participate in ritual we will use the latest editions of the Minnesota Manual and the Minnesota Cipher, and not any other book. Those are the books needed to learn the Minnesota ritual work, and our Brothers who are Custodians have spent much time to pro- duce them for us – the least we can do is use them.

KidsID Conference in Bloomington

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota is hosting the Masonichip (KidsID) International Annual Learning Conference October 28 & 29, 2011, at Minnesota Masonic Home, Landmark Center, in Bloomington. The conference is a great opportunity to learn the new and exciting programs which will be recommended to programs like our own KidsID throughout the country. All Minnesota Masons are invited and most welcome to attend this great training and educational opportunity.

Recognized experts from across the country will be presenting and answering questions. Representatives from the F.B.I. will be on hand to discuss the S.O.S. (Surf Online Safely) program which they hope will be adopted and promoted by Masons throughout the country. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will report on the ongoing cooperation between the Masons of North America and their efforts not only to find missing children, but to promote safety education so the children will not go missing in the first place.

Come to share ideas with Masons who have been in the program for several years, and for those who are just consid- ering implementing the program in their jurisdiction.

Cost for the event is $75, to cover meals and materials. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomington for this conference.

For more information, or to register for this conference, kindly contact Grand Secretary Doug Campbell (grandlodge@qwest.net) or Past Grand Master Tom McCarthy (tpmcc0526@yahoo.com), who serves on the Masonichip International Board of Directors.

July–August 2011

The Minnesota MASON


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