Most Worshipful Grand Master, Brethren, Ladies and Guests Good Evening.
The title of tonight’s talk is “Freemasonry our Future is found in Teamwork”.
The Masonic Jurisdiction of Utah has the distinction of being the smallest in the 48 continental states. Where some may be fast to draw a negative assumption about this fact I believe we are stronger and more connected than our larger sister jurisdictions.
Freemasonry grows in Utah because we all work together as a team. This is not done out desperation but out of dedication.
The one common denominator we see as Grand Lodge Officers when we travel this state is that the lodges work together to make things happen.
If they see another lodge struggling they step in help and encourage their Brethren. They help build their membership and provide leadership in their officer lines. They provide experience where there is a void and they celebrate with their seasoned members in the creation of a renewed hope.
In short the Masons of this state want to see this “thing” survive and it is going to take teamwork.
My experience is only of ten years but in that time even I can see these small victories where there once was darkness. Light builds and lodges are no longer a shadow of their past but taking pride in becoming what they were and what they are now.
Progress lodge is growing with great guns right now. I sat with them in lodge the other day and I saw a successful well-oiled machine. They have worked hard these last few years. They provide for their membership a reason to come out and be with their Brethren. Men want to join Progress Lodge because Progress Lodge is doing something.
This enthusiasm is spreading over and they have adopted their Brethren in Kaibab Lodge. Kaibab has a meet-up group following the lead of their big brother. This ensures that Freemasonry will continue to foster and grow in Salt Lake City. There is new blood, new membership and a renewed sense of purpose. Kaibab has started a Farmer’s Market. How come nobody thought of that one before? I wished I had thought of that.
Although my assumption is that someone out there tonight has a garden with too many tomatoes.
Acacia Lodge has had her struggles but again the team of her dedicated officers that want to see her succeed have continued despite her growing pains to build and find stability. Their Worshipful Master Allen Record a glutton for punishment in my mind has dutifully served his lodge for almost 2 years to make sure the good work continues.
Talking about teamwork and spreading the enthusiasm, I have it under good authority that a member or two of Acacia traveled to Cache Valley this week to help Harmony Lodge in Logan with degree work.
That is just awesome.
You see although we are all individual members of separate lodges statewide, we are all members of one Fraternity, The Masonic Family of Utah.
You have Masonry in the great dark north.
In Castle Country.
In the Basin.
In Happy Valley.
And you have Masonry in the Big City.
Separate but all part of one great big team.
We have Coaches and starters. We have Second string and the rookies but we all work together and we all go to great lengths to win. In the end we are all victorious.
Recently many us participated and attended the Utah Masonic Leadership Academy. There was a twist this year where in addition to the lodges the membership of the whole Masonic Family was invited. The Shrine, the Rites, Eastern Star and the like all came. All of us were under one roof to share ideas, thoughts and things that work. No more secrets everything was out in the open so that we all can benefit and all can achieve the same positive results.
This “game-plan” of Freemasonry if you will should breed success. And the success of your Chapter or sister lodge will spill over. Others will pick up the ball and run.
If it didn’t work before give it a chance it might just work. As I have said in the past things are different now. No more looking back only moving forward.
When a man joins Freemasonry in Utah most of the time he has no knowledge or scope of the size of fraternity outside of his own lodge. What is important for him to know to know is that he is part of a team. A team sharing victories and defeats learning that there is strength even in small numbers.
Those small numbers will eventually multiply just like they did in the past. These members will rebuild and our future will be secure. Our “teamwork” will be our success.
Thanks for listening and enjoy the rest of your evening.
John C. Liley Jr., W. Grand Orator Utah
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