The Degree Of First Impressions

Bro. Steven A. Fulton

There is much discussion about how important our degree work is, and how much the candidate gets out of it. I for one believe the degree work we do is extremely important and the way it is delivered to the candidate may just intrigue him enough to want more.

I personally went through a one day class journey to become a Master Mason. Although it was several years ago, I still remember the beauty of the ritual and how impressed I was with the overall experience. I admit that when I got home that afternoon and my wife asked me about the day, my reply was I’m not sure what just happened I just know I am now a Master Mason.

During the ensuing days I pondered about what I had seen and heard that day. Still trying to get grasp on the experience, there were few things that stood out and made a lasting impression on me, and I couldn’t help feeling that I just became part of something great and I knew I wanted more. And more I got, much more.

As I started attending meetings, I knew I was looking for more but I didn’t know what and I didn’t realize it was right in front of me. I was watching and listening to the degrees but not seeing and hearing the true meaning. Only after I started asking the basic questions such as why? And what does that mean? Is when I began to get some of the answers I was seeking, although I was still thirsting for more, but what? So I started studying our ritual, and found hidden in the text between the commas and periods were words that had a tremendous amount of meaning which must be delivered completely and accurately to be understood. I now know that those men who conferred the degrees during that one day journey day were exceptional ritualist and perhaps that is what intrigued me and left me craving more, for as we all know that initial impressions are often the lasting ones. That is why I believe that knowing and understanding the ritual is very important not only to the candidate but to those seeking more.

I’m not implying that the degree work was the only thing that made me want more, however, it was the first.

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One thought on “The Degree Of First Impressions

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  1. My impression at the end of that day was, “Wow, how am I ever going to remember all of this???” Well with hard work, dedication, support form my Brothers and a love for the Craft, it gets done. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s easy but anything in life that’s worth doing is worth doing well. We need to leave the impressions Steve had on every candidate. So when you confer a degree, remember, it’s not about us, it’s about the candidate.

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