The Importance of Our Blue Lodge Mentors

As I think back to the night when I was Initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason, and was told that I would be required to learn the work of this Degree; I was relieved when the Worshipful Master told me that I was not just on my own to do so; that I would be placed in the charge of my brother mentor to teach me my work. Little did I know at that time that this brother would teach me so much more. He and I would embark on what I call a journey of Freemasonry. One that a bond of friendship and brotherly love would soon form. I now see that this relationship can be likened to one of a very close family member. There’s no doubt that he and his wife will remain close to my heart until “The Great Architect of the Universe” takes me to that home He has for me. Let me tell you about my mentor.

The definition of a Mentor is one who is a trusted counselor, guide, or teacher. Some descriptions include the word Sheppard. To me that description fits best because it brings visions of the Biblical Sheppard tending his sheep. Always making sure they stay on the right path. My mentor was one who placed the success of his student above his own advancement or gain. He does so strictly out of his own personal love for our Craft; as he strives to make a difference for the growth and betterment of his Lodge.

The mentor is a hugely important person. He is the first link in the masonic chain of development for that new mason that has been introduced into your Lodge. He is entrusted with the duty for the proper formation, and building of the masonic character of this new brother. His impression and connection to that new Entered Apprentice is vital, and can last a lifetime. You see it’s more than just teaching the work. It is also teaching the “Do’s and Don’ts” of the Craft. It is his Love for Freemasonry that was literally transferred from him to me. It is truly our duty to properly equip and prepare our brothers for service to our great fraternity.

Immediately after my initiation, my mentor took me to a neighboring Lodge in our District to witness an EA degree like I had just received. Upon arrival, he introduced me to each member of the Lodge, thereby forming my first interaction with other Brothers outside my own home Lodge. During the Degree he sat by me the whole time giving me instructions of the floor-work and other intricate details of the Degree. He was always looking for ways that I could participate in the Degree using my newly acquired skill set that he taught me.

As I proceeded through the second and third Degrees, he would often include me in his Masonic travels. He taught me by his example that I should be involved in other Lodges activities when invited. It turns out, that the more we went the more we were invited. It was during these travels that I was able to take part with him as he raised many Master Masons along the way. The year I was raised a Master Mason; he brought me to my first Grand Lodge Communication, with him by my side. We have continued to do so regularly since that day.

My mentor is a key leader in our Lodge and is respected by all. He strongly promotes the need for weekly Lodge practices, so that our Lodge would be able to confer our own degrees. He firmly believes that these regular practice sessions are a crucial element in forming a learning environment for all present, and while doing so, is always looking for the opportunity to develop the future leaders of our Lodge.

Previously I referred to my experience of learning as a journey. A journey that has had its ups and downs. One day, during the very hardest of times concerning my Lodge; my mentor and I were alone drinking coffee and discussing how we could help make things better. It was then that he looked at me, and a tear came to his eyes, and he said with a trembling voice; “I should have done more for my Lodge”. My Brothers I know of no one that has done more for my Lodge than he. It is clearly his Love for our Lodge and Masonry that drives him to want to do more.

In closing, in the first few pages of my old Louisiana Monitor there is a section that reads “When Is A Man a Mason?”. When I read that page I think of my Mentor. It is this reason that when I introduce him to others, you will often hear me say; “This is Louis Freeman, P.M.; My Mentor who has taught me all I know about Masonry. He is Indeed a True Mason. May God Bless the Mentors of Our Fraternity.

Thank You My Brothers for the Honor to Serve You.

R:W: Steven L. Jennings, G.S.W.