To the Young Men in the Masonic Fraternity

Published by the Committee on Education and Service of the Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F.&A.M

By authority of the Most Worshipful Grand Master for distribution among Petitioners for Masonry, Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Masons.

Transcribers Note: This document was undated but, judging from the condition of the paper and the graphic arts characteristics, I would place the document's printing between 1925 and 1930.

There are many things for you to consider very seriously. You have not been made Masons because you were specimens of gravity, for that is often the cover to genteel stupidity or respectable dullness. Volatility and gaiety add nothing to one's chances, but greatly diminish them. In spite of them, you have been admitted, for beneath them, sterling principles of integrity are often found. If the committees have done their duty, you have been found to be men, physically, believers in God, of upright and moral character, and of good sound mind; you have been found fit material for some place in the Masonic edifice. This is no small complement to you. But all the while bear in mind that this does not prove you infallible or perfect. You may be found, upon inspection, unfit for the building, and you may be refused further progress, or be tolerated as a choice for evils.

If you follow Masonic teachings, you are to learn to subdue your passions. Gain complete mastery over yourself -- such mastery that the passions implanted in man for useful, beneficent and defensive purposes, may be at your command for good uses, and thoroughly submissive and obedient to your reason and good will. Let them have no dominion over you -- in solitude, among people, or under surprise -- but keep constant control over them.

You are also to improve yourself in Masonry. The meaning of this is both practical and symbolical. Practically, that you are to be so skilled in its arts and mysteries as to make yourself known as a Mason, while this skill acts as help to memory, order, system, and mental training. The Mason who has carefully observed our ceremonies, and studied Masonic principles, is much better qualified to preside over public assemblies, or to rule bodies of men, than another of equal natural ability who has enjoined no such advantages.

It is not the intention of Masonry to train you for a partisan in politics, religion, or anything else. There are certain things in politics and religion in "which all good men agree." As a Mason, and per consequence, a good man, you are so far partisan in reasonable moderation. Masonry does not debar you from partisanship. But it forbids the use of violent, corrupt, or unlawful means or measures; for these or any of them prove your cause to be week, unworthy or wicked. Keep your garments unsoiled. The time will come when such a noble reputation will speak volumes in your favor. Commence honestly and honorably in all things, and keep on so, in prosperity and adversity, to the end. At the end of every canvass, and every contest, let Masons be able to take each other by the hand and say, "In all my partisanship, in all my business, in every battle of life, I have said no word and done no thing dishonorable or dishonest." Perfection is no man's lot. The principle of every invention is perfect; but no man ever promulgated an invention so perfect as to be incapable if improvement. You may err sometimes. Stand on no assumed dignity in case of error or wrong; you weaken yourself and your cause by so doing. Repair whatever error you may commit or wrong you may do, to the extent of your power. While you may suffer in your own self-respect, you will at least maintain your character for sincerity and honor, which is better than gold. And let all this be done manfully and above-board, and not abjectly or stealthily. But better that all this, let their be no occasion for it.

As a Mason, you are a counselor, an advocate, a judge. Strong measures are sometimes necessary and justifiable against a Brother; but in nine cases out of ten, there is a "more excellent way." Good counsel, tenderly and lovingly given, may prove to be "apples of gold in pictures of silver." Temper judgment with mercy, support the weak, reclaim the erring, and guide the stranger in the right way.

Bear in mind, young Brethren, that you are soon to be the rulers and governors of our noble Craft; also, that the young men are to be the citizens and rulers of this mighty Nation. And at this point you reach the Symbolical uses of Masonry. Study them in your Masonic bodies; study them from our written and oral teachings; study them from the great Book of Inspiration; study them from the volumes of nature; and from the good and bad lives of your fellow men. Respect and revere the religious teacher and religious teachings, but follow your own honest, well-matured convictions. Tolerate every man in his opinions, but resolutely maintain your own. Let every man worship in his own way, as he pleases; but agreeably to your professions, do you worship God, and Him only. Trust Him, rely on His promises, and keep His commandments, and you will not only be a just and upright Mason, but it will be well with you in the end.