November 2021 Trestleboard
Sickness and Distress
Brother Jordan Whitney reported on Facebook that late in September he experienced a serious “cardiac event.” He is recovering and expresses his appreciation to all who have contacted and called him. Please keep in your devotions and wish him a speedy recovery.
Brethren all, if you are aware of any member of this Lodge who is suffering from ill-health or other adverse circumstances, or you yourself are suffering the same and you feel that it would benefit the member to be contacted by members of the Lodge, please reach out to the Secretary, and let him know!
- November 1st at 7:30 pm. Unless informed otherwise, we will be meeting on the Entered Apprentice Degree.
- We will be holding elections for the 2022 elected officers on this evening.
- November 8th at 7:00 pm: Degree Practice
- November 15th at 7:00 pm: Degree Practice / Installation Practice
- November 22nd at 7:00 pm: Meetup. Location to be decided at the Stated Meeting.
- November 29th at 7:00 pm: Degree practice
Holidays and Observances
- November 11th: Veteran’s Day (Observed)
- November 25th: Thanksgiving Day
Special Events and Activities
- November 9th from 6 pm to 7:30 pm: Utah Food Bank Volunteer opportunity.
- November 14th: Veteran’s Day Breakfast at the Lodge. Meals will cost $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 5-12 years of age.
From the East
By the time this is received, we will have met and after business elected officers for the Masonic Year 6022/2022.
I want to ask each of you to think about our Lodge, do you see anything that might be a weak spot. Perhaps something that bothers you and does not seem right. If so, I would ask you to take action:
Go to Grandview and open up the latest Grand Lodge Code Free and Accepted Masons in Utah. It’s easy to do once you have registered. On the Grand Lodge page there is a spot in the lower right that says members log in. Once in if, you look to the right side of the page and up near the top you will find MY PORTAL (Click).
From there you can use the menu or click on Resources, go to governing documents and you can open the Grand Lodge Code and look up the item you are concerned with. Is there actually something wrong? Present the WM with a letter explaining what you found, what the Grand Lodge Code and Twin Peaks Bylaws say about the issue.
Propose an action to resolve the issue. Somethings, you must be willing to participate in the actual work or action being taken.
Remember this is OUR Lodge, we are Brothers in the Lodge and the Fraternity. We need to take care of each other as needed. This is the reason we have some of our committees. Who is the chair of the committee that deals with an issue? Talk to them, explain your concerns. If we don’t discuss what we see, how do we correct it. Don’t just let it go. Do something to repair it.
Richard L. Wailes, PM
Worshipful Master – Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32
On the Secretary’s Desk
For those of you on Grand View, you may have read the October 2021 Grand Lodge newsletter. Our September longevity award recipients were prominently displayed on page 5.
Other than that, correspondence has been quiet. As promised last month, 2022 dues notices were sent out. Thanks to the twenty-two brethren who have already submitted their 2022 dues payments! Cards have all been mailed upon receipt of dues submission. I go down to the US Post Office every weekend to check for dues payments. I have been mailing your dues cards to you by the following Monday afternoon after I receive your payment. So far I have mailed or handed out 17 2022 dues cards.
One of the sad parts of my job are to find out that some of the addresses I have on record for Twin Peaks members are no longer valid. I have several dues notices that were returned. Please, if you are contemplating an address change, please add Twin Peaks to your list of folks that you need to call!
Elections are November 1st. I am formally announcing that if elected, I will serve for another year as your Lodge Secretary. I hope that I have performed the job to your satisfaction this year.
Fraternally and cordially,
Glen Van Steeter, PM
Secretary – Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32
Do you Facebook? Join us at the Twin Peaks Facebook Group!
If you are already using Facebook, then you should check out the private Facebook group for the Lodge. We post events for meetings and Lodge activities and there are places for discussions, rooms, and topics. This is a terrific way to stay in touch in-between meetings, especially for our brethren who no longer live in the Great State of Utah! Facebook can be used from anywhere: Your computer, a tablet, or your phone. Once you have logged in, just type “Twin Peaks Lodge #32 of Free & Accepted Masons” in the search bar and our private group should be at the top of the list. If you aren’t a member of the group yet, click the “Join” button. One of our moderators will see your request and should let you right in.
The following Brethren have anniversaries of their being raised to the Degree of Master Mason this month.
- Worshipful Brother Lee Merritt Rogers PM, raised on November 24, 1986 and has 35 years of service.
- Worshipful Brother Gavin Kenneth Kerr Wardrope PM, raised on November 2, 1992 and has 29 years of service.
- Worshipful Brother Jay Lynn Roundy PM, raised on November 23, 1993 and has 28 years of service.
- Brother David D. Birch, raised on November 20, 2000 and has 21 years of service.
- Brother Devin Foutz, raised on November 11, 2007 and has 14 years of service.
- Brother Jason Arthur Dyckman, raised on November 23, 2015 and has 6 years of service.
The following Brethren were born this month.
- Brother Spencer Forman, born on November 10.
- Brother Robert Rollins, born on November 14.
- Worshipful Brother Edward Kordas, born on November 26.
Reminder: Recommended Attire
Business attire, which is coat and tie. Wearing white gloves during tyled meetings is strongly encouraged by the Master.
Officers are asked to attend degrees in tuxedo (black tie) or dark suits. Sideliners can choose between tuxedo or business attire.
Practices and Other Activities
Casual dress unless otherwise noted by communications from the Secretary at the direction of the Master.
Regardless of the meeting or activity, your attire should reflect honor upon yourself and the Fraternity.
Lodge Officer Elections – November 1st!
Brethren all, we will be holding Officer elections for the 2022 Masonic Year at our November Stated Meeting which will be held on November 1st @ 7:30 pm. The Worshipful Master expects that all Master Masons who are physically able to make an effort to attend this meeting.
Every year, when the Secretary sends out annual dues notices, we inevitably get a few of those notices returned by the Post Service as return to sender, unable to forward. I have no good address for the following brethren:
- Bro. David N. Burleigh
- Bro. Spencer L. Forman
- Bro. Robert G. Jones ç This one is odd because I received a new address from this Brother back on August 7th, but it was returned to sender.
- Bro. Frank G. Keller
If you know any of these brothers and are aware of the current addresses for them, please notify the Secretary that we might be able to correspond with them.
Annual dues notices for 2022 were mailed on October 13th. With the pandemic that plagued our nation from March of 2020 through the present day, in order to keep our membership healthy and safe, the circumstances compelled us to not hold our usual fundraisers such as the April Cake Auction and the November Veteran’s Day Breakfast. This means that the dues that are submitted by our membership are more important than ever.
There are now three ways that you can pay your dues. Note that if you pay electronically, there is an approximately 3% “convenience fee” to cover transaction processing.
The payee should be “Twin Peaks Lodge 32”. The address is:
Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32
PO Box 8132
Midvale, UT 84047-8132
If you pay by check, the amount is $91.
You can also pay your 2022 dues via the Midvale Masonry website. Click on the Pay Dues link in the header and follow the instructions.
Additionally, you can pay through Grand View.
Brethren, the last 18 months have been difficult and trying. Some have lost their jobs. Others have reduced income. Yet others have fallen ill as a result of either COVID-19 or some other illness. All can have an impact your life and income. As of the writing of this newsletter, fourteen brothers have not et paid their 2021 dues and of those, five are in arrears multiple years. We have made a number of attempts to contact them through letters, emails, and phone calls, but we are still in a pretty dire situation. Brethren who owe 2020 or earlier dues are in danger of suspension in December. If you happen to be in this situation and you are experiencing hardship, then don’t just let your membership lapse! Reach out to the Worshipful Master or to the Secretary! Their phone numbers are on the front page of this newsletter. There are tools that we can use to help provide you with some relief! But you, and only you can start the conversation! Please reach out while there is time for us to do something about it to help you! The middle of December is too late!
Past Grand Master John L. Elwell Called to the Celestial Lodge
Grand Master Dan Lawes reported that Most Worshipful Brother John L. Elwell, who served as Grand Master of Utah in 1994, has laid down the working tools of life and been recalled to the Celestial Grand Lodge on High.
Volume of Sacred Law – Satanic Bible Permitted?
by Glen Van Steeter, PM
Brethren, the title of this educational feature is probably freaking you out. I admit that on the face of it, it seems absurd! I was asked this question by a non-Mason, who was mistakenly under the impression that all religions were accepted in our Fraternity. However, instead of just telling him “<expletive deleted> no!,” I instead decided it was an opportunity to educate myself as to the nature of Satan, how the various religions of the world view this being, and why any religion that worships Satan could not be accepted as a foundation of faith within the Craft.
Question: “I know that Freemasonry is quite tolerant of diverse religions. Could a Satanist be a member of a Lodge? Would the Satanic Bible be considered a valid Volume of Sacred Law?”
Judaism — the basis of the “Satan” figure
“Satan” is a Jewish generic noun for “accuser” or “adversary”, derived from a verb meaning “to obstruct, oppose.” The first occurrence of “Satan” in the Tanakh, which is the Jewish holy scriptures upon which the Christian Old Testament is largely derived albeit greatly added to, is in the book of Numbers 22:22. Here, the being described was an Angel of God. Later, in 2 Samuel 24, God sends the Angel of God to inflict a plague against Israel for 3 days, killing 70,000 people as punishment for David having taken a census without God’s approval. 1 Chronicles 21:1 relates the same story but replaces “Angel of God” with an entity referred to as “a satan”, meaning an obstructor or accuser.
It is also believed that the “satan” or “adversary” sent to test the holy man Job is the same being (Angel of God) described in 1 Chronicles and 2 Samuel.
In Zechariah, “the satan” is the prosecutor and God the Judge, who are judging Israel, represented by Joshua the High Priest. God rebukes the satan for his refusal to permit Joshua to wear clean clothing.
What is important to note here is that in the Jewish faith, the figure that we identify as “Satan” or who is referred to as “the satan” is not the Supreme Creator, which is God alone. Instead, this being was created by God, who was used initially to test mankind and to punish for his sins.
Christianity — Satan is personified
In the Christian belief system, “satan” is equivalent with “devil”, which is derived from “devel” (Middle English) and “dēofol” (Old English). Of course, we are all familiar with the story related in Mark, Matthew, and Luke where Satan tempted Jesus with the gift of all the Kingdoms of Earth if Jesus will bow down to him and worship him. The Apocrypha and Gnostics believe that one-third of God’s angelic host betrayed God and followed “Lucifer” (the light bringer), who is assumed to be the same Satanic figure described in the Jewish faith. In Revelations, which is a recitation of a series of visions to early period Christian prophets and holy men, Satan will gather his armies and along with Gog and Magog will wage war against the righteous. Christians also believe that this same figure, although not named, was personified as the snake that convinced Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge, thereby condemning man to death and introducing sin into the world.
In summary, the Christians believe that the being known as “Lucifer” or “Satan” was one of God’s mightiest angels, who rebelled against God and persuaded many of His angels to also rebel and has been in conflict with God ever since with regards to the proper role of Lordship over the human race. Therefore, this being is a creation of God, not a god itself.
In Arabic, the equivalent term or name for this being is Shaitan, meaning “astray” or “distant”, although sometimes translated as “devil”. Although this term can be applied to evil men, it is used for Iblis. Muslims do not consider Shaitan or Iblis as a cause of evil, but as a tempter preying on human weakness and self-centeredness.
In the Quran (holy recitations), Satan is an angel (djinn). There is great debate as to whether this being is a fallen angel or a leader of evil djinn. A hadith from Ibn Abbas states that Iblis was an angel whom God created from the substance and essence of fire.
Satan is representative of the lower nature of humanity, or the evil ego within us, not necessarily an external evil entity. In this tradition, “satanic” denotes selfish human deeds.
A number of loosely affiliated groups believe that Satan is a real entity, although they are opposed by the Atheistic Satanists who believe that “Satan” is a symbol of cosmos permeated and inspired by a force given many names by many cultures. Satan represents liberty and individual empowerment.
It has been argued by many theologians through history that the primary cause of the rebellion of Satan or the Angel of God was twofold. First, when God commanded his Angelic Host to bow before Adam, Satan refused, being devoted only to God. Secondly, Satan was initially opposed to the concept of “free will” embedded in man, believing that the children of God needed a firm hand to avoid sin. Later, after the fall, Satan advocated for man to exercise his free-will, up to and including setting aside the teachings of God and for man to forge his own path and to develop his own concepts of righteousness. In this, we see this being initially obstructing God’s will concerning man, and later opposing God directly by rebelling against Him and encouraging man through temptation to do the same.
Masonry — why can’t a believer or follower of Satan become a member of the Fraternity?
Masonry holds from time immemorial certain “landmarks” or principles, the alteration of which would alter the very nature of Freemasonry. Chief amongst these:
- An unfeigned belief in God, the Creator, the Author and Architect of the Universe, who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
- Belief in the immortality of the Soul.
- An unfeigned belief that the “Volume of Sacred Law” is the revealed word and thought of the Creator and that it is an indispensable part of the furniture of the Lodge.
- He must be a man, free-born and of mature age.
Points 1 & 3 are most relevant for the purposes of this discussion. “God” in the Masonic tradition is the singular Creator of the Universe. As such, we often refer to this being as “the Supreme Architect of the Universe” or the “Great Artificer of the Universe” due to the basis of our craft being founded in medieval stone masonry. Masons further are required to have a belief that the Volume of Sacred Law, a euphemism for the Holy Scriptures that are the basis of the major faiths of the world, are the revealed will, law, and philosophy of The Creator.
A follower of Satan can honestly profess that he believes that Satan exists and can possibly even believe that the “Satanic Bible” are the revelations of Satan’s will, laws and philosophy. But a follower of Satan cannot honestly profess that Satan is the singular Creator of the Universe, and must admit that by definition, “Satan”, “Shaitan”, “Iblis”, “Lucifer” are all labels applied to the “obstructor”, the “adversary”, the “accuser”, all of whom apply to an intelligent being of arguably immense power but who was nonetheless manifested into being (created) by The Creator.
Finally, the purpose of the Fraternity is to make good men better men. This is done through symbolic instruction taught in the form of the mysteries as practiced in ancient times. The chief tenets of Masonry are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Masons are taught that of those three rungs on Jacob’s Ladder that were named Faith, Hope and Charity, Charity is the greatest because faith ends in sight and hope ends with fruition, but Charity extends beyond the grave throughout the boundless realms of eternity. Satan, as characterized in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the Bahai-i faiths, represents individuality, self-interest, and egotism, which places the self in primacy. This is in direct conflict with the core teachings of the Fraternity.
Now, there are men of many faiths that have been admitted into the mysteries of Freemasonry. I have personally met Christians (predominant), Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. I have heard of members who are Wiccans or who practice the Native American religions. Masonry teaches about Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, two ancient religions that have startling similarities to the Abrahamic faiths (Supreme Creator, three-fold nature of God, Immortality, or an afterlife). The reason we refer to the Holy Scriptures as the “Volumes of Sacred Law” is because we believe that to each individual, these books represent the revealed word of God. “Holy Scriptures” simply means divinely inspired writings. If you ask a Muslim, a Jew or a Christian what are the “Holy Scriptures”, you will get in order: The Quran, the Tanakh and Mishnah, and the Holy Bible. If you agree that the term “Satan” is derived from the oldest of these currently practiced religions, which is found in the Jewish Tanakh, then Satan cannot be defined as “the Creator” because Satan was a being created by God and the first Landmark of Freemasonry is that a candidate must have a firm faith and true belief that the God he worships is the Creator, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. Satan cannot be any of these.