No Mason Left Behind Part 3

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. "Doc" Gentry

I just want to touch on a few things. First, congratulations on taking the first steps in Masonry with your candidate / brother and doing it right with all the advice given to you. I hope you realize that I am just gathering information, the best practices as it were, of the way others have mentored and has been successful. These aren't original "Doc" thoughts, because SUPRISE, I'm not that smart.

Your candidate has taken his time to observe and take in your words of wisdom-- the esoteric teachings to which he has either gone crazy with or thought they were cool and has since moved on. As a brother, and yes as Entered Apprentices, they are brothers on the level, your lodge has invited him to stated meetings and other EA degrees and hopefully your lodge had a Worshipful Master who was smart enough to invite the new brother to the East at these events to see the whole thing from that perspective, I mean what's the purpose of becoming a Master Mason if not only to one day become a Past Master. (I will write another piece on this later, just place that idea to the rear of your mind for now). Your candidate / brother is now absorbing information, asking comprehensive and very deep questions about their journey so far, because if you follow the steps, that is exactly what happens, questions get asked! Also, I hope he is still being encouraged to write in his journal of all the feelings and emotions through each step he has taken. 

The day has finally come for the second degree and you are ready! You give him those really wise words and tell him you will be there to help when it's done. You sit in lodge and watch and someone fumbles their ritual, others forget their lines, and remember, this is the hardest degree to perform, but at the end, so much information is given to the brother and there will be shock from it all, even if it is done correctly. This is your chance to shine brother, to be that Mentor that will go down in the history books, fore you will talk with your Intendee after its all over. 

Don't blow it! Don't say something stupid like, "Do you have any questions?" Or "Would you like me to explain anything?" No, no, no, no! You are smarter then this, you're a Master Mason for goodness sake! You need to block out a good chunk of time after this event, but not right after, because he is going to be confused. Don't believe me? Remember when you did it! Go back into your journal (if you kept one) and look into what you were feeling and thinking right after this. Every brother I mentored, after the second degree feel the need to go write in their journal, it's overwhelming. So wait. Wait until after the cake and pie, wait until after the handshakes and congratulations, wait until after the lodge is closed and locked. Let him take in the second degree before you try and talk about it. They don't even know how to pose the questions they have yet. So when you finally get to the time where you will talk to them, front load some questions you think they are going to have. What's wrong with being prepared? Take a good amount of time to go through these and the ones you have that they don't ask, pose them and answer them anyway. This may take multiple sessions and that's fine, it means they are on the right path in Masonry! We don't just say ritual, real master Mason's know at the baseline what they mean and have enough understanding to explain them simply. We have studied it to not just memorize, but to figure out what we heard. 

Take your time, Freemasonry is not a race, it's a life long journey for the perfect ashlar. You will make mistakes too, admit them. No matter what your Grand Lodge says do not, do NOT, DO NOT pressure that brother to "hurry" their journey. Numbers and retention be damned! These experiences are for him and no one else and you as the Intender should be blessed to be on this journey with them, remember, no one takes a step in Freemasonry alone, not even the Intender, don't forget that. You as the Intender are a Mason, and No Mason Left Behind is not just a cute statement!


Brother Daniel "Doc" Gentry is a Brother Master Mason under the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Mason's of the State of Illinois, in the 1st Northeast district. His sign is Leo, and has been known to enjoy long walks in blizzards. He is stubborn and has no plans of joining the York or Scottish Rite anytime soon. Also in his spare time, he is a great DM for D&D games. Sacred Geometery! You can reach him by email at

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