The Reverend A. Gene Cobb Jr., 32
Wilson, North Carolina

The virtues of family life are also part of who we are as Freemasons.

Every human being is born with a capacity and desire for love. Love is made known to us in four distinct ways. First, there is divine love the Great Architect of the Universe has for all His creations. Second, we have brotherly love for one another. Third, spouses have sensual love for one another. Finally, family love always gives us the sense of belonging every human being needs.

We are born into families. A father, mother, and children have not always represented families. One or more parents may be absent leaving children dependent upon others for care and nurture. Therefore, we are not able to define families by tradition as much as we are by circumstance and situation.

All people need a sense of belonging. Without it, we never learn to appreciate the God-given, humanly nurtured gift of family. From the time we leave the womb, humans are in need of someone to care for and love them. That need never dies. As we grow older, we need our friends and loved ones to surround us. Their expressions of love remind us that we do belong to something greater than ourselves.

One reads in the first chapters of the Great Light of Masonry how God created man and woman for each other. As we read further, we discover how God took Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience and turned it into a blessing we now know to be the family. Families composed the tribes of Israel. Leaders of families ruled the nation of Israel, among them Solomon, our legendary first Grand Master. Christians cannot forget how God sent His only Son into the world. Jesus came as a member of a family.

All of us are born into some kind of family. It may, or may not, include a biological set of parents. Still, our first entry into the world casts each of us into a relationship of care, nurture, and belonging. Within the family we learn the values of compassion, giving, serving, and sharing. From within a family, individuals move forward into the world to make their contributions to God, country, neighbor, and self.

Families introduce the virtues of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice into the lives of individuals and society. Parents instill in their children free thinking, restraint of passion, and progress toward a life subject to a will greater than our own. The Great Architect of the Universe, through family love, has given us the gift to undergo any pain, peril, or danger when it is faced together. From our experiences, we can reflect and act reasonably with others. Having experienced temperance, fortitude, and prudence in our families, we are ready to render unto everyone their just due in society, the workplace, and the household of faith. As these virtues are a part of family life, so also are they a part of who we are as Masons.

Our friends and loved ones constitute our family. That is why being related by blood is not the only way to belong to a family. The Lodge, Valley, Church, Synagogue, Mosque, wife and children are all a part of our family. The Great Architect of the Universe has instilled within us, from the beginning and throughout history, the need for and presence of family.

All of us stand in need of expressing our gratitude to God for giving us a sense of belonging we enjoy through our family. However, we gain so much more than the cardinal virtues of life through our family. We gain the greatest gift of all which comes first in every life, the gift of love.

Please remember the Scottish Rite Foundation, S.J., USA,
with your gifts and in your will, 1-800-486-3331.