I hold in my hand a little scrap of paper, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in size. It is of no intrinsic worth.
It's not a check. It's not a bond, nor is it a receipt for valuables, yet it is one of my most prized possessions. It represents my membership in my Masonic Lodge.
It tells me that I have entered into a spiritual kinship with my Masonic brothers to practice charity in words and deeds, to forgive and to forget their faults, to hush the tongues of scandal and innuendos, to remember that it is the internal and not the external to care for the crippled, the hungry and the sick, and to be fair and just toward all mankind.
It tells me that no matter where I may travel in the world, I will be welcomed to visit a place where good fraternal friendship prevails. It tells me that my home, my household, and my family are under the protection of every member of this great fraternity who have sworn to protect and defend theirs. It tells me that should I ever be overcome by misfortunes, thru no fault of my own, the hands of every member of this fraternity made aware, would be outstretched to aid in my necessities.
It tells me that when my final exit has been made from the stage of life, there will be gathered around my lifeless remains, friends and brothers who will recall to their minds my virtues, though they may be few, and forgive and forget my faults, though they may be many.
It tells me that and a great deal more, and makes me happy that I can obtain a passport into a society of friends and brothers that are numbered in the millions.
I hold in my hand a little scrap of paper, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in size. It is of no intrinsic worth, yet I hope it will become one of your most prized possessions. For it represents your membership in the Masonic Fraternity.
I am sure that many of you have heard this recited to new candidates when they "earn" their dues card. I would like to propose to you, what if we each had to "earn" our dues card each year? Would you be able to earn yours? What if we each had to provide examples of the way we live our lives, as true and faithful Brethren of the craft? Have we each done our duties to God, our Country, our neighbors and ourselves? What have I done to earn my spot here in the greatest fraternity in the world? Do I serve my lodge and support its goals, or do I just like to wear the fancy rings and sport the cool emblem on my car? I would hope that each of us could say without a doubt that they earn their place here every year. If you can't, it is never too late to start.