Eight Steps to Excellence: The Observant Lodge
1 Guarding the West Gate
This point is first among these, because we are nothing more or less than who we let in to our fraternity. Not every man should be a Mason, and not every man who should be a Mason belongs in just any Lodge. The brethren have a right and responsibility to determine the standards for their own Lodge, and to ask incisive questions of those men who knock on their door. Lodges should take time to first get to know the men who knock at their doors, and not simply sign any petition just because a man has an interest. Brothers who sign a petition for a man need to know who they are signing for, and more important, need to be willing to serve as his mentor. This is a fundamental point of responsibility for all brethren. Do not ask a brother in your Lodge to do the job of mentoring for you. If you are not willing to give that petitioner your time, how can you ask your Lodge to give theirs?
2 Being Proficient in Masonic Ritual and Law
Proficiency is an essential function of any observant Lodge, because we must know both what we are doing, and why, if we seek to uphold the highest standards of our respective Grand Lodges. It does no good to claim the mantle of excellence if your Lodge is not wellversed in the ritual and the Masonic law of your jurisdiction. Masonry is a thing of order, not anarchy. If you wish to keep that order, as well as harmony between your Lodge and the Grand Lodge, you must learn and follow the rules that each brother has obligated himself to observe. An observant Lodge is not a renegade Lodge. It seeks to be an exemplary one.