Worshipful Master - Craig Smith
I was raised with a focus on the pursuit of academia. I have always had an interest in things like history, and Freemasonry is something that is very rich in history, and something that has played a big part in the history of the world, and this country in particular. Funnily enough, though, I wouldn’t have been made aware of Freemasonry if it hadn’t been for my uncle who introduced me to the craft during one of his visits to the USA in 2017 and put me at a table with the brethren in this lodge. I think my life would be very different if we had not made that connection, and it would be tremendously less fulfilling if I had not met with some of the amazing and inspiring people that I have had the privilege of meeting as a result of my association with Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is depicted in many ways, and some are negative, and some are positive. There are varying degrees of truth, some by necessary exaggeration, and some by misinformation. While I cannot give an exhaustive list of all that Freemasonry is and is not, I can prescribe some of the tenets of what Freemasonry is to me. Freemasonry is a fraternity, which is a bond that stretches worldwide, across creeds, nationalities, religions and political ideals. It is a cement that unites people to pursue perfection and goodness in all things, to build, to raise up, and to leave something behind better than it was found. It is rich in both the guidance of divinity and the mortality of man, pressing urgently at the days, hours, minutes and seconds of time each man has upon this earth, but keeping eternity forever in sight. It is a united front against the dangers and threats of the world. A light where there can be so much darkness. A rich tapestry stretching from the temple of Solomon to the founding of America. Freemasonry impassions men to always act for the betterment of all, and to hold out a helping hand to brothers (and by extension, families) that are in distress and need our aid. Such a combination of obligation to goodness, moral law, God, fraternity and family does not exist anywhere else in the world. Other organizations are united through their dedication to a pursuit, and divided by any deviation from this aim. Freemasonry is united by the pursuit of goodness, and there is no good man who is a Mason who can deviate from such a path who is a true Mason at heart.
I see many of these ideals and lessons reflected in the brethren I have met, particularly in those I have had the pleasure to meet in Longview lodge. Though there have been challenges, I see us gaining strength as we move forward, guided by the knowledge and experience of what came before.
In the HG Wells novel The Time Machine we are shown a world where the future has become bland and meaningless; a future that has forgotten all the sins and the glorious successes of its past. As Freemasons we must work to preserve our past; to learn from its mistakes and step forward with the successes. I see (touch goggles) a future for this lodge where we, as the Grand Master encourages us so well, live the legend of our past and, indeed, make legends of ourselves and this lodge. In the coming year I hope to help you all see the same strong future, the same legendary opportunities that will carry our lodge, not into a bleak future where our past is forgotten, but where our children, and grandchildren… the children and families of our community look back and see our footprints in their lives. A future where we learn and teach the esoteric truths our forefathers sought and discovered… and maybe learn a few ourselves. The future is ours to create – nothing is yet written. Let us stride bravely and confidently forward: let us wield the lessons of the past as a sword to cut through untruth, the protection of our Grand Architect as our armor in the face of a sometimes hostile world that seeks to wipe away our past and with it pure future, and let us carry our brotherly love and affection like a shield, never hesitating to step out in protection and support of one of this beloved family
Brothers, I ask that you see this lodge into this future with me. And I look forward to this next year of working together with you to create this future and take it from a vision into a beloved reality.
Longview Lodge Election of Officers
June 25th at 1pm
Stella Lutheran Chapel