Grand Lodge of Texas Codebook

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Blake Bowden, Aug 9, 2009.


Should the Grand Lodge of Texas publish an "Official" Codebook?

  1. Yes

    98 vote(s)
  2. No

    69 vote(s)
  3. Undecided

    17 vote(s)
  1. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    One person at a time mouth to ear works very poorly as anyone who has ever played telephone has seen. Group to group to group is a completely different story. Members of a group are very good at correcting each other. In computers it's the comparison between unprotected memory transfers and error correcting code memory transfers. Over a period of centuries written beats spoken because the same writing can be used without change but the time scale for that advantage is very long.

    I suggest that quality of the work is not about being word for word as it was done a century ago, though. As the language evolves I'm okay with the phrasing of the ritual evolving in a carefully controlled manner. What I think of as quality is delivery with feeling and understanding. I've heard lectures delivered word perfect in a monotone drone and thought it mediocre work. I've heard lectures delivered with some wording mistakes where the lecturer gestures, did dramatic pauses, looked around, used a conversational tone of voice and thought it exceptional work. I've also heard lectures with all of gestures and pauses and so on with a lot of wording errors and thought it poor work. Good work is more than knowing the words, but it is knowing the words. I also suggest that whether you learn it matters much more than what method you used to learn it.
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    Striking to the heart of the problem I think. What is the issue and is the write topic under discussion (pun intended)?

    I've heard older brothers complain that appendent bodies drain our lodges of members. I don't think that was really the problem either.

    I don't think most of the brothers who object to publishing a standard book of work thin it's about retention, at least not directly.

    I say the magic here is the mentors. Lodges who lose hold of their mentor/poster/candidates-coach program get rapidly in trouble. Having a book does not change that. Any lodge with a good mentoring program has candidates come through their pipeline cipher, written out or not. Any lodge without a good mentoring program loses candidates from their pipeline cipher, written or not. The mentor program completely overwhelms the importance of the book. The book is a small detail in comparison.

    There was a thread a few months ago "Conduct unbecoming ..." about a brother in a lodge without an active mentor-ship program. He was stuck working from a book because that was the only resource he had. He ended up quitting because of lack of communication from his lodge. Was the book the problem? No, the lack of mentor-ship and other lodge function was the problem. At most the book was in the list of problems discussed by brothers of different lodges.

    I've seen grand lecturers and grand lodge instructors (I think those map to B and C certificates in Texas) who could recite ritual letter perfect in a conversational tone and pace, give gestures during the lectures, even wander around addressing individuals during the installation charge to the brethren, who couldn't tell you what any of it means to save their lives. The book doesn't matter here, either.

    Memorizing does not equal understanding. A really good mentor teaches that. A good mentor discusses what it means. But even with only memorization the fellowship aspect of Masonry shines through and the fellowship is a firm foundation on which to build. If F stood for something better we could have it in the center of our symbol - Fellowship as the superstructure on which we build the rest and frovidence watching all that we do. Nah, doesn't work well enough.

    That happens anyways with expose' books. In jurisdictions with standard books of work they are only sold/issued to MMs for that reason so it's not an issue.
  3. RustonJr

    RustonJr Registered User

    I was entered, passed and raised in Muenster Lodge 833, Ulm, Germany (1979). Our lodges were under the jurisdiction of the American Canadian Grand Lodges of Germany AF&AM. The Grand Lodge was formed after the end of WWII to provide soldiers a place to meet and conduct Masonic work. Up untill the mid 1980s they used the New York State Ritual with their permission. In the mid 1980s they adopted their own ritual. As I was going through the degrees I was issued a cypher book for that degree and a mentor/coach. Being active Army and in the field all the time the cypher really helped. Let there be know mistake examinations sere exacting and any master mason could ask you anything to make sure you understood the work. If you did that in a Texas lodge today the members bury you a fourth time.

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  4. BroBook

    BroBook Premium Member

    We had Lil ones for each degree no grips or names which got turned in before taking your exam.

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