What's So Funny About Peace, Love And Understanding?

by Midnight Freemasons Contributor
W. B. Darin A. Lahners

There’s a lot of discontent currently in our nation. It’s palpable on social media. Luckily, in our fraternity, we leave two leading causes of discontent outside of the inner door to our lodge room, namely politics and religion. But are we leaving our individual discontent at the inner door? I would argue that in my recent experience, we have not. 

One of the downfalls of social media is the ability to instantaneously communicate one’s opinion to a large audience. This often doesn’t allow one to think through one’s social media posts. We can instantly post something in a moment of emotional upheaval, and even if we quickly take the post down, there’s a good chance that some of your brethren might have seen it. Unfortunately, in the lodge room, we don’t even have the option to un-post an opinion. Once words are uttered to another brother they can be forgiven, but they are often not forgotten. 

I have two recent examples of disharmony in the lodge. The first example involves two brothers. One brother decided to speak while the other was answering the Worshipful Master. The brother who was interrupted took offense to this, and objected to the other brother interrupting him. The brother who did the interrupting felt that the other brother was wrong for objecting. This brother became so upset, you could see the anger manifest itself physically. In fact, we had balloting that evening, and the brother was protesting to me regarding it at the altar as I went to cast my ballot. I replied that technically the other brother was not wrong because he did interrupt him, and I asked him to practice brotherly love. I would love to say cooler heads prevailed, but luckily the brothers remained separated during the meeting. After the meeting, the brother who was physically upset abruptly left before sparks flew. The brother who was interrupted was going to discuss it with the other brother, but I felt that was probably not the wise course of action. 

 The next day I received an email from the brother who was upset the night before. He was still upset. In order to protect the privacy of those brothers involved, I won’t get into the specifics of the email. However, my reply is below: 

“I would just ask that you remember your obligations and I will tell him the same. I understand you have a lot on your plate, from his perspective, he has a lot on his plate. It's not my job to say or judge that. You're both my friends and my brothers. All of the things you've said about him I've heard from others about you. I've spent plenty of time defending you as much as you might feel I might be defending him. Brothers fight, but at the end of the day, we are all brothers. I just want harmony in the lodge.” 

My second example of disharmony in the lodge also involves two brothers. One of the brothers was filling in a chair for the other, who was not present at the beginning of lodge. The brother who was not present finally knocked and was admitted to the lodge room about 20 minutes after lodge had started. When this brother came in, he glared at the brother who was occupying his chair. The other brother who was in the chair made a joke to the brother about being late, which was received with a flurry of expletives. The brother then decided to give the brethren in our lodge the double one finger salute. While he was on his tirade, the WM and SW were trying to get the brother to sit down on the sidelines and behave himself. We later found out the brother had been defrauded 4000 dollars that day, and he apologized for his actions and words. He also sought out the other brother later after the meeting and apologized again. Problem solved? I think the brother forgave him, but it leads me to my next point. 

What I’m about to say might be taken the wrong way, and I think that brothers might object to it. But I’m going to say it anyway. In the words of Ice Cube: ‘You better check yo self before you wreck yo self.’ What do I mean? (For those of you who don’t know who Ice Cube is, I’ll suggest a google search). If you’re coming to lodge with an attitude, you’re going to have a bad time. Do yourself and your brothers a favor and don’t come to lodge if you are unable to put your ego and emotions in check. I know, what I just said is considered blasphemy. There are lodges that are struggling to have a quorum for a stated meeting, and I’m suggesting this? 

Hear me out. If you’re bringing your baggage into the lodge room with you, then what are you really doing? Are we not reminded that Harmony is the strength and support of all institutions, especially ours while opening on the EA degree? If you’re coming to lodge and you’re going to disrupt lodge, then you’re going to cause disharmony. Is this fair to the other brethren? No, it’s not. If you can’t subdue your passions enough to put your attitude and ego into check, then you’re not able to meet on the level with your brethren. If you can’t meet on the level, then you probably shouldn’t be in the lodge room with others who can. Yes – I understand that tempers can flare. We are human after all. Which is why in Illinois we pray to the Supreme Architect at the beginning of our meetings to bless us so that the meeting can be conducted in peace and closed in harmony. But, ultimately we not only need to guard the west gate from Cowans and Eavesdroppers, but also from brothers intent on causing disharmony. 

I want to end on a broader point. If you’re encountering an issue that is impacting you on an emotional level, then maybe you need to reach out to your lodge before the meeting. Explain the situation to them. There is a good chance that one of your brothers has gone through something similar. They might be able to understand your situation, and empathize. I understand that everyone’s different, and there are some folks that might be embarrassed by doing something like this. But what is family for? When you become a Mason, you join a family. Family is there to support you in your times of need. Remember that your brothers are there for you as well. They will be more than willing to help you, if you let them. Let the trowel do its work of spreading brotherly love, and cementing our brotherhood. 


WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. When he’s not busy enjoying Masonic fellowship, Darin spends his time as a DM for his children’s D&D campaign, reading, golfing, watching movies and listening to music. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com.

What's Better than One New Contributor? Two!

Introduced by
Managing Editor R.H. Johnson

It's been some time since we introduced a new regular contributor to the MIdnight Freemasons. We've made administrative moves and retired some of the writers who've moved on to other things. This has left room for additional viewpoints and contributions. Today, we're proud to announce two new regular contributors. WB Darren Lahners and WB Scott Dueball. 

WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. When he’s not busy enjoying Masonic fellowship, Darin spends his time as a DM for his children’s D&D campaign, reading, golfing, watching movies and listening to music. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com. 

WB Scott S. Dueball is the Worshipful Master of D.C. Cregier Lodge No. 81 in Wheeling, IL and holds a dual membership in Denver Lodge No. 5 in Denver, CO. He currently serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois as the State Education Officer. Scott is also a member of the Palatine York Rite bodies and the Valley of Chicago A.A.S.R.-N.M.J. He is passionate about the development of young masons, strategy and visioning for Lodges. He can be reached at SEO@ilmason.org


Masonic Service Centers

by Midnight Freemasons Senior Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

 In 2004 the State of Illinois dedicated the World War II Illinois Veterans Memorial in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. I was privileged to be there for this dedication and it was an event that I will never forget.

I recently returned to visit this memorial for the first time since the dedication. It was still very impressive and is a fitting tribute to the men and women of Illinois who served so gallantly in the defense of freedom and our country. 

One addition since the dedication was a small marble bench as you entered one end of the memorial. As I examined the bench I was surprised to find a plaque placed by the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Illinois commemorating the efforts our grand lodge undertook in sponsoring seven service centers in Illinois to assist in the war effort. 

The plaque reads “In World War II from 1942 to 1945, the Grand Lodge of Illinois established seven fully equipped service centers. These centers served more than two million citizen soldiers offering them hospitality and relaxation regardless if they whether they were Masons or not.” 

Illinois had several major military bases that were key in training the soldiers and sailors who fought in the war. These service centers were located at:
• Great Lakes Navy Base at North Chicago 
• Fort Sheridan at Highland Park 
• Navy Pier/Northwestern in Chicago 
• Camp Grant in Rockford 
• Chanute Field in Rantoul 
• Scott Field in Belleville
After the war these centers helped veterans adjust to civilian life. The plaque stated over 8,000 Illinois Masons served in the war. 

The Masonic Service Association played a significant national role in coordinating these centers. After the war, the MSA continued the work of helping Veterans through the Hospital Visitation Program in affiliation with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. This program is still active and going very strong. My local lodges participate in the Illiana VA Center in Danville, Illinois. 

To learn more about the Illinois World War II Memorial visit http://ww2il.com/welcome/


WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.

The Awesome Meeting

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Steven L. Harrison, 33°, FMLR

I went to a Lodge meeting last night.

We opened on the First, Second and Third Degrees of Freemasonry.

The Worshipful Master called on the Secretary to read the minutes of the last meeting. The
Secretary read the minutes, including the name of every attendee and the names of each
officer filling a station. The Secretary then reported he also had minutes from a called meeting
held since our last regular stated communication. He read those minutes and in the same
manner ran through the list of names of all attendees and officers in each position. The
members present approved the minutes as read.

The Worshipful Master asked if there were any petitions presented. The Secretary
announced there was one. He read the petition in full, word-for- word. The Worshipful
Master appointed an investigating committee to meet with the petitioner.

Things got exciting when there was an alarm at the outer door. At the direction of the
Worshipful Master, the Junior Deacon answered and announced there were two additional
Brothers desiring admission. The Worshipful Master directed him to admit them and inform
them we were working on the Third Degree of Freemasonry.

The Worshipful Master asked if there were any reports from committees. A Brother stood and
reported on the results of an investigating committee visit. The committee’s recommendation
was full and favorable. That being the case the Worshipful Master called for a vote. The
Worshipful Master, along with the Senior and Junior Wardens inspected the ballot box and the
Brothers lined up, filed past the box and voted. The vote was clear in the South, West and
East. The Worshipful Master said he would contact the candidate to agree to a time and date
suitable for his initiation.

A Brother from the building committee reported the air conditioner did not have to be replaced
but could be repaired. The members voted in favor of allocating funds for the repair.
Another Brother reported a long-standing member of the Lodge had passed away. The
Worshipful Master called for a moment of silence and asked that the Charter be draped.
Time being short we tabled a discussion to plan our upcoming fish fry.

The Worshipful Master then proceeded to close the Lodge, peace and harmony prevailing.
I’m looking forward to the next meeting. That discussion of the fish fry could get really
interesting when we try to decide what to serve the attendees who don’t like fish.

It was an awesome evening. I just can’t figure why attendance at meetings is so low and why
anyone would not want to join this fraternity.


Bro. Steve Harrison, 33° is Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research and also its Worshipful Master. He is a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite, Moila Shrine and a member and Past Dean of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. Brother Harrison is a regular contributor to the Midnight Freemasons blog as well as several other Masonic publications. His latest book, Freemasons: Tales From the Craft & Freemasons at Oak Island. Both are available on amazon.com.