I am a sad and disappointed Mason this morning. Last evening, a friend of mine was Raised and I was forced to leave the meeting in order not to violate my solemn Obligation. The Iowa Grand Lodge recently announced that Lodges would once again be able to conduct degrees following a 'modified' ritual. One aspect of this was that the Candidate/brother was not to be guided due to the need for social distancing. As a result of this, the Candidate/brother was also not to be hoodwinked. This is in direct violation of our obligation in which we promise and swear to not reveal the secrets of a Master Mason 'Except it be to him or them, to whom they of right belong.' I arrived at Lodge and sat for opening, and came to realize that I could not in good conscience take part in this ritual. Once Lodge was open, I addressed myself to the Worshipful Master and Lodge. I spoke my concerns and informed them that I would not remain in Lodge and asked that my statement be read into the minutes of the meeting. I exited the Lodge room, offered my apologies to my friend and went home. What think ye my brothers? Should we or should we not suspend all degree work until such time as we can do so without violating our Obligation? Are we that desperate to gain new members that we should be willing to throw hundreds of years of history and tradition away?