Presentation of the Bible

The presentation of a copy of the Holy Bible by the Lodge to each candidate, after the conclusion of the ritualistic ceremony of the Master Mason degree, has met with favor and M. W. Brother Charles C. LaFollette, in 1929 while Grand Master, offered the following as an appropriate address for such occasion. The presentation of a Bible and the use of this particular lecture are, however, both optional with the Lodge.

My Brother, you have been raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason. As such you stand the peer of all your Brethren here, for by no word or deed have you marred or dimmed as yet the character that is now yours. We would it might be ever thus.

Thrice have you by most solemn vows bound yourself to be forever true. Thrice have you expressed a desire for Masonic light and you have beheld the great lights of Freemasonry, but this Book is the greatest Light, for the others are but symbols of what this Holy Book doth contain.

Every Master Mason is a builder, not only for this life but for all eternity. He who would build must have a plan. On this Bible, the Trestle-Board of life, is drawn the plan of all the ages, a most beautiful design, conceived by a Master Mind and wrought with utmost care. May you build and rear the temple of your life according to this plan, that it, like the temple of old, may appear the work of the Almighty Hand of the Supreme Architect of the Universe.

I now present you with the Great Light of Masonry, the Holy Bible. However men may differ in creed or theology, all good men are agreed that within the covers of the Holy Bible are found those principles of morality which lay the foundation upon which to build a righteous life. Freemasonry therefore opens this Book upon its altars with the command to each of its votaries that he diligently study therein to learn the way to everlasting life.

Adopting no particular creed, forbidding sectarian discussion within her Lodge rooms, encouraging each to remain steadfast to the faith of his acceptance, Freemasonry takes all good men by the hand and leading them to its altars, points to the open Bible thereon and urges upon each that he faithfully direct his steps through life by the light he there shall find and as he there shall find it.

If, from our sacred altar the atheist, the infidel, the irreligious man or the libertine, should ever be able to wrest this Book of Sacred Law, and thus remove, or even obscure the Greatest Light in Masonry, that light which has for centuries been the rule and guide of Freemasonry, then could we no longer claim for ourselves the high rank and title of Free and Accepted Masons. But so long as that Light shall shine upon our altars, so long as it shall illumine the pathway of the Craftsmen by its golden rays of truth, so long and no longer shall Freemasonry live and shed its beneficent influence upon mankind.

Guard then this book of Sacred and Immutable Law as you would guard your very life. Defend it as you would defend the flag of your country. Live according to its divine teachings, with the everlasting assurance of a blessed immortality.

My Brother, I trust you will search between the covers of this Book where you will find that Light which will illuminate your pathway to that Grand Lodge above where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

From the Indiana Monitor and Freemason's Guide, Published by authority of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Indiana, 1957 version.

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