The New Master Masons Speech

Introduction by Midnight Freemason Managing Editor
Bro. Robert Johnson 
Speech by Guest Contributor
Bro. Benjamin Short

Note from the editor: When I sat at the secretaries desk at a stated meeting a few months ago, I looked out over the attendees. I looked out to see a few new faces, men who had't been to the lodge in years. It was pretty awesome. We sent out Masonic Anniversary cards from the lodge, celebrating the raising dates of our members in a particular month. Some of these Brothers show up, others send a note back and most don't respond. But this night was different. 

A few "new to me" faces were among the craftsman. At a point we started having discussion. The Master of the lodge talked about the importance of Masonic Manners. Dress, decorum, when to stand and when to sit, how to address the lodge etc. It was at this point one of our newest Master Masons stood up, Bro. Ben Short. Ben decided it was time to speak up. Looking out at the bored faces as the master was trying to explain some things, Ben must have decided that it was time to wake some of these guys up. 

Ben essentially delivered a speech which I wish I had recorded. It was heartfelt, unrehearsed, serious, thought provoking and yes, abrasive. I remember the Master looking over at me as if to say "...should I gavel Ben down?" I pretended not to see the look and instead looked on as Ben made me proud to be a Mason. I didn't mentor Ben, I didn't help him get through the degrees. He owes that to his uncle, a Past Master and all around swell guy. Below is "almost" what Ben said that night. You see, after the lodge closed that night, I said "Ben, go home and write it down. Do it before you forget." He did, and this is pretty close. I hope you enjoy and I hope you find it inspirational. 

Brothers I am a new Mason, not even a year has passed since I was raised which gives me a unique perspective but not an unfounded one. I’m still enjoying my honeymoon period in masonry and for the most part it's actually very romantic as I experience things, like a child on his first day of school. I’m eager to learn and excited for my new friends and teachers that I'll meet and get to know. But not unlike that child, the honeymoon is fading and reality and complexity is setting in. I’m slowly starting to realize that not everything I was told about Masonry is true.

Before I even petitioned I took serious considerations to becoming a Mason. My grandfather was one and my uncle is currently a member and I had always been curious about it. In my life I had a lot of serious ambitions for changing the world. I devoted many hours into community service and outreach, preaching about helping thy fellow man and doing everything I could to organize groups with the same ambitions. With many failures with organizing such groups I was asked to look in to a club or organization which already had an establishment and that maybe my frustrations of trying to keep a foundation firm and growing would be resolved. So I naturally looked at Freemasonry and what it was about and what it meant to be a Mason. From the beginning I was enchanted with the thought of being a part of not just a group or a club but a brotherhood of men who had a long and interesting history and deep roots in charity and making good men better. I thought to myself that this is exactly what I wanted. This is where I was always meant to be, and to think it was always under my nose. What more could you ask for in a fateful sign? As the old saying goes “ careful what you ask for.” I got the last and most prominent motivation into becoming a mason when I received the news that for the first time, I was going to become a father of a boy. I wanted to start leading a life fit for someone worthy enough to teach and lead a child into becoming a man. I wanted my son to see not just me as an example, but also the men I surrounded myself with.

Every step I take in Freemasonry, I take it seriously and consider them all to be a life changing moments. Every degree passed feels like graduation for me and with every degree I participate in, I’m excited for the candidate. I also see a lot of things done that I was told are not the way of Freemasonry. I see a lot of people not taking it as seriously as I do. So I’m left to ask myself, "Am I the fool or are they?" Are my aspirations childish? Am I dreaming too big? Every time I look at my now 18 month old son the answer is "NO!" I don’t care what others think, I don’t care if I’m the minority in my thinking, I don’t care if I’m laughed at or scoffed at, I set out to change this world and that’s what I’m going to do and starting here at home and in my lodge.

I’m going to make the stories true, I’m going to make that square and compass on my ring mean something even more. I want it to mean something to the rest of the world. You can still have your conspiracy theories and rumors about Freemasonry but I want the majority to look at those symbols and recognize it as it should be. A fraternity of men who dared to be different and driven by the determination of their ideals and beliefs, driven by passion and united as brothers. This is why I became a Mason, this is what I want my son to see and become one as well. I want him to see how proud I am to be a Mason and that it will be so evident for him in what that means. At some point in our children's lives they will look at the life we handed them, I don’t just want to build something good for me, but great for the future of all. And we sure as heck don’t get there by focusing on things that don’t matter, like one word missed in a catechism or there better be food when I come to lodge or how long a stated meeting lasts. I will come dressed for business because I mean business. I will still get goosebumps when I hear the Paul Revere Charge. I will make a serious and conscious effort to not just be present at my lodge but to be a staple and an asset to it. 

Honor is not just something that belongs in a slogan or a meme on Facebook, it belongs in our hearts and minds. From the day I submitted my petition this became a way of life for me and I know in my heart that if I or any Mason treats it differently, it will not be a participation in, or the growth of Freemasonry, but the death of it. Is this not what we said Freemasonry is? Is this not what we sought out to do? Why Freemasonry and not a Moose lodge or Rotary club? I once received some good advice from a brother who hit it right on the money when he said “ It’s not so much what you have done that means anything so much as what you’re going to do”.


(Left to right Robert Johnson, Benjamin Short, Brian Wilber)
The night Ben received his 3rd˚.

Bro. Ben Short is a Master Mason out of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 in Waukegan Illinois, where he is an active member serving on various committees and occasionally filling in for the secretary. He is the proud father of a son and works full time for the community at large. 


  1. Well thought out remarks. Well done. May good fortune follow you always.

  2. Brother Ben - these are some excellent comments, I was really impressed. I read your article tonight in the stated meeting of Ogden Lodge No. 754 IL. Don't get discouraged, change is happening in Masonry and you will become a big part of it.

    Greg Knott, SW - Ogden Lodge No. 754

    1. I was there when Greg shared that the other night at our meeting . . . well written, and well done. Great message for all of us.

      Todd E. Creason, Secretary, Ogden Lodge No. 754

  3. Fantastic article. It's time for Freemasonry to take over the world, through the positive actions of each member of the Craft

    Bro. Al Leathers

  4. Fantastic article. It's time for Freemasonry to take over the world, through the positive actions of each member of the Craft

    Bro. Al Leathers

  5. Fantastic article! It's time for Masons to take over the world, through the positive actions of each Brother of the Craft.

    Al Leathers, Chaplain, Herndon Lodge #264

  6. Fantastic Ben! Always hold on to the true spirit of our purpose. You give me renewed hope my brother!

  7. Excellent words. Maybe we have a chance after all...


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