THE PURPOSE OF OUR MOTTO AND SCRIPTURE
Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge
Free and Accepted Masons, State of New Jersey
M.W. Shelton J. Prescott
88th Grand Master
Brethren, WE ARE AT WAR in Ancient Craft Masonry! APATHY, MEDIOCRITY, IGNORANCE AND POOR POLITICS have served as the principle,tenets and measuring stick for a significant percentage of our less informed brethren. These times demand a culture shock through behavior modifications, elevated, and enforced expectations, innovation; and imaginative thinking while retaining our principles. We need to demonstrate transparency to regain our enviable reputation among each other and society, by re-establishing the public’s understanding of Freemasonry rather than leaving it to our critics. To do this we have to show how and why we are relevant, and to concentrate on the positive aspects of Freemasonry; in particular our generous tradition of benevolence, youth advocacy, and supporting a wide variety of causes/initiatives at the grassroots level. The narrative must be in our control!!!!! From time immemorial Masons have always been charged to stand as examples of what is good and what is right. According to legend, Hiram Abiff was a Maser Mason, master of his craft, honored teacher of workmen and respected leader. A master of the working tools which we are taught to apply figuratively to our morals, development and deportment. Hiram Abiff as a builder demanded excellence of his work, the work of others, and we are urged to follow his example of EXCELLENCE along with the lessons of Freemasonry; by building ourselves, Lodges, and our local communities with an efficient and effective beehive.
Henceforth, the motto of this administration is P.R.I.D.E, which is an acronym for PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN DEMANDING EXCELLENCE.
There is a distinction between people who are prideful and those who take pride in what they do. A prideful individual has an overdeveloped sense of self-worth that is out of proportion to reality. But brothers/sisters who take pride in what they do are ZEALOUS workers who desire to perform every task at a high level of aptitude. The goal of these individuals is to be seen as workers who can be trusted to accomplish what is required, and to accomplish that task in a way that goes above and beyond THE STATUS QUO. Those who lack such pride will have a tendency to cut corners in order to finish the task as quickly as possible. As a result, the work accomplished will likely be at or below standard. Taking pride in one’s work involves taking the time to look for ways to do something better and in a more original way. It involves doing something not just to accomplish a task, but for the love of the work. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all!!!!!
P.R.I.D.E. (PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IN DEMANDING EXCELLENCE).
Our scripture will come from Titus 2:7 (ESV):
“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity”
It is notable that here the Apostle Paul didn’t say “tell them” but “ show them”. Paul wrote more about Titus the example than he did about Titus the exhorter! Titus was himself to be what he wished others to be. Titus was to confront them not only with spiritual words, but with a spiritual life in keeping with those words. Even our most forceful and compelling arguments will fall on deaf ears if our lives fail to back up what comes out of our lips. A great leader teaches best according to his life. He must constantly be a good example in all things. Whatever the Worshipful Master, Excellent High Priest, Thrice illustrious Master, Most Eminent Commander, Commander-In-Chief, Worthy Patron, and Illustrious Potentate wants his lodge, chapter, council, commandery, consistory and temple to be, he must first be himself. Little wonder that our Lord was especially critical of the hypocritical lives of the Pharisees declaring “they say and do not.”