The North Carolina Mason

January/February 2021

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January/February 2021 The North Carolina Mason Page 7 peacefully change the law. But, until then, we abide by that law. e same is true as it relates to our Masonic CODE. If we do not like or agree with a provision of the CODE, we must properly submit an amendment to be considered and voted upon by the Craft. Once the Craft has voted, we abide by the majority of those who voted. But as with our other obligations, we don't pick and choose which portions of the CODE we will abide by and which we will not. We abide by it all. We agree to respect the decisions of the civil magistrates. is means we must honor and abide by the decisions of the courts, subject to the right of proper appellate review. My brothers, 50 percent of all lawyers lose 100 percent of all cases. What that means is that in every case, one side or the other loses. In practicing law for more than 35 years, there have been cases I have lost where I do not believe the judge or jury made the correct decision. But in each case, whether I agreed with the decision or not, it was my obligation to respect the decision of the court. It is that respect that we pay to our system of government and to our courts that allows us to live civilly with one another, even if we have disagreements. It is the duty of every Freemason to promote the general good of society and to propagate the knowledge of our arts. My brothers, we do that in part by application of our Masonic working tools and learning to subdue our passions. By the square we are taught to regulate our actions by rule and line and to harmonize our conduct by the principle of morality and virtue. By the compasses we learn to limit our desires in every station. By the rule we punctually observe our duties, press forward in the path of virtue and neither inclining to the right nor to the left, in all our actions have eternity in view. By the line we are taught the criterion of moral rectitude. And, by the tyler's sword we are constantly reminded to set a guard at the entrance of our thoughts, to place a watch at the door of our lips to post a sentinel at the avenues of our actions, there by excluding every unqualified and unworthy thought, word and deed. e anger, hatred, violence we have expe- rienced is destroying us as a country and as a society. Beware of those who promote the anger and hatred of others. ey do so only for their personal gain and advantage. Anger, hatred and violence promoted or exhibited by anyone, on any side, should be called out as wrong. And I do so here and now. e violent actions of others should never be used to try and justify a violent reprisal. Anger will beget only anger. Hatred will beget only hatred. Violence will beget only violence. But, friendship will beget friendship, morality will beget morality and brotherly love will beget brotherly love. at, my brothers — friendship, morality and brotherly love — will allow us to have peace. Our Masonic teachings are as valuable today as they have ever been. rough our Masonic teachings we learn to be respectful of others, even when we believe them to be wrong. Grand Master Sigmon reminded us that in the 31st Degree we are taught to have a willingness to consider the positions and opinions of others, because after a more thorough investigation and study, someday we may adopt their opinions as our own. Unfortunately, those who descended on Washington had neither ability to subdue their passions nor the inclination to be open- minded as to the opinions of others. e Masonic principles we are to live by were not guiding their actions and as a result, the anger turned to violence and the violence resulted in death. Such conduct cannot be condoned or accepted by a civilized society. During every local, state or national elec- tion, Americans are privileged to have a peaceful transfer of power that is the envy of the World. We should cherish and protect this system which so many only dream of living under. I have often heard members of the Craft say that Masonry is not for everyone. ey could not be more wrong. My brothers, while for various reasons, not everyone should be a Freemason, Masonry, its tenets, its principles and its teachings, is for everyone. at is why it is and has been prohibited and suppressed by every fascist and totalitarian regime throughout history. I encourage you not to memorize words so that you can become a member. Take time to learn the lessons Masonry teaches and become a Freemason. I assure you there is a difference between being a member and being a Mason. WICKER, from page 5 I encourage you not to memorize words so that you can become a member. Take time to learn the les- sons Masonry teaches and become a Freemason. I assure you there is a difference between being a member and being a Mason. Can't get out? Never fear, you can get your NC Mason online One of these days, we'll all be outside, shaking hands and spending time face to face again. Until then, there's a way to keep up with all the news in the NC Mason Masonic news online. If you want to help us save money (our printing budget will be smaller in the new year and we'd love your help!), just send a note to with these words in the subject line: OPT OUT, and in the body of the email, include your lodge, your full name and mailing address. We'll take it from there. If you want to subscribe to the online version by email, it's easy …. Just head to this page: http://www.epageflip. net/t/5206-the-north-carolina- mason en hit the blue "Subscribe" tab on the right-hand side of the page. Fill in the info, and you're done! No need for trails of Post-It notes reminding you to go and hunt for the paper every other month, no reason to scribble a reminder on napkins or the back of envelopes. Questions? Email us at!

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