Page 20 - Education Programs
P. 20

Isn't it strange that Princes and Kings
         And clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
         And common folks like you and me
         Are builders for eternity?
         Each is given a kit of tools,
         A shapeless mass and a book of rules:
         And each must make, ere life is flown;
         A stumbling block or a stepping stone.

These are very true words. The kit of tools are those talents with which God has blessed us to
enable us to fulfill our mission in life. We are told in the Volume of the Sacred Law that one man
received five talents, another, two talents, and yet another, only one talent, so that our duty is for
each to discharge his allotted task to the best of his ability, and help those who have not been so
well blessed as himself. Thus each will be assisted in carving out the "Grand Design" of being
happy and communicating happiness and thereby of being more "extensively serviceable to his
fellow creatures."

The shapeless mass is a man's character, and each one of us is his own Architect, Builder and
Material, and like our predecessors, the Operative Masons, we each must show our craftsmanship
in working out a perfect "Ashlar" fit to be tried by the square of his own conscience.

The book of rules is the V.S.L. "That great light that will guide us to all truth, direct our steps in
the path of happiness, and thus, point out the whole duty of man."

Let us pause for a moment and earnestly ask ourselves, which are we making--stumbling block or
a stepping stone? If a man's life is such that he cannot "join in the grand design of being happy and
communicating happiness to others," then he is a stumbling block, not only to himself, but to all
those with whom he is associated. If that man is a Freemason he should study the ritual and
discover the inner meaning, so that he can learn to perfect his stone.

Let us trace from whence this perfect stone comes. An ancient charge provides that a mould stone
shall be given to a visiting Operative Mason to enable him to demonstrate his craftsmanship. The
stones were selected individual stones from the quarries to suit the requirement of the material
building. As Speculative Masons, we obtain our mould stones from the quarries of life. Thus, when
we receive an application for admission to our Lodge it is our duty to carefully scrutinize all the
credentials of the applicant from every angle, so that only approved material is admitted to the

Freemasonry can and does improve good material, but it cannot make bad material good. As with
the Operative Mason, poor material would have endangered the material structure. So with us as
Speculative Masons, a faulty Ashlar will endanger the Spiritual temple we are endeavoring to

Having found, by the strictest inquiry, that the applicant, or mould stone, is suitable, we have, by
those inquiries, knocked off some of the irregularities which surrounded him, and after his
initiation, he is represented as the "rough Ashlar," that is, the stone is no longer the mould stone,

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