» And, you will do this by paying attention to the fundamental requirement of
the Golden Rule: How you want to be
treated should be the test of how you
The square in Freemasonry is an emblem
of morality, and we are asked to apply it to
how we act with others. It is important to
note that in this context the square is not
being applied to us as individuals. It is
instead applied to our actions as Masons.
We are asked to consider, “How does my
treatment of others ‘square up’ with what
is to follow?” The square is not so much a
tool of moral judgment as it is a means by
which we must check the validity of our
own actions as they pertain to others.
A Mason uses the square to check to
see if he is really rendering his neighbor
“every kind office” that he can supply. He
uses it to determine if he is really interested in relieving the distresses of his
neighbor. He uses it to consider if he is
really doing anything substantial to soothe
his neighbor’s afflictions.
Actions have consequences, and none
more than in Freemasonry. The validity
of what I do as a Mason is not tested so
much by my intentions, as by the results.
If I intend to act justly and mercifully, but
then don’t, I am not meeting the test of the
Mason’s square. If I plan to help out a neighbor, but never get around to it, it doesn’t
meet the test of the Mason’s square. Our
intentions must result in action, and that is
what we are telling the Entered Apprentice:
We will measure your understanding of
Freemasonry by the results of what you do
as a Mason – not what you say that you will do as a Mason.
Doing for others and giving to others is a fundamental
Masonic principle. But doing for others and giving to others in a
way that results in something positive is a much more important