February 2023 Trestleboard
The Trestleboard is an official publication of Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32, which is a legally constituted Masonic Lodge operating under charter granted by the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Utah. The Trestleboard is published for the sole and exclusive use of the members of Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32, and any other use is expressly forbidden. The editor of The Trestleboard is Glen Van Steeter. Submissions of educational articles or other announcements may be sent to the editor at [email protected], and if selected for publication, will be given full attribution. All submissions are subject to the approval of the Worshipful Master of Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32 and the editor of the Trestleboard.
- Friday, February 3 @ 9:00am – 151st Annual Communications of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Utah.
- Saturday, February 4 @ 7:30pm – Public Installation of Grand Lodge Officers @ SLC Temple
- Monday, February 6 @ 7:30pm – Stated Meeting. Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM prior to the meeting. Dress is business.
- Monday, February 13 @ 7:00pm – Practice the Entered Apprentice Degree
- Monday, February 20 @ 7:30pm – Entered Apprentice Degree. Come welcome a new brother to our fraternity and Lodge!
- Monday, February 27 @ 7:00pm – Monthly meetup dinner at Spitz in Draper. Come join the Lodge for good company, conversation, and food. Family, friends, and guests are invited.
Sickness and Distress
- Please keep Brother Jeremy Estes in your prayers and he recently lost his Father-in-law.
- Brother Action is recovered and back attending lodge with us.
Please keep these brethren and their families in your thoughts, and add them to your daily devotions to the Grand Architect.
If you happen to hear about a brother who is in distress, please contact either the Worshipful Master or the Lodge Secretary ASAP so that the Lodge can put itself in a position to assist.
FROM THE EAST
Brethren, we are off to a running start . In the first month of the year we have had one degree, two petitions, with another two petitions and degrees expected for this upcoming month. Please add it to your calendars and take part in our growing lodge.
In a lot of groups I’m in, I keep hearing the question, “what are our problems we face in masonry today what can we do about our shrinking membership?!”
I ask in return, instead focusing of problems, let’s focus first on the vision. For “without vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29)
What is the value of masonry? What do we offer that would want people to join this Fraternity? If we don’t fully understand our own value we bring, how could we possibly expect others to recognize it?
Think about the ritual of the three degrees, how many hours each of us puts into practice of the memorization, eloquent emphasis, and floor work. Think about the hours spent mentoring a candidate to memorize the catechism and learn the life lessons that accompany them. Do those things have value? Does the lessons and time that equates to improve lives have value?
For those of you who know a bit about me, I’m a numbers guy and can nerd out. But I like data driven decisions and not shooting darts. I did an analysis on the members of Twin Peaks Lodge and found that of our entire membership, the average age when brothers joined the lodge was 35 years old.
I found that interesting. Why 35? What are are men looking for around that age?
I have my own theories, but I would love to hear from you. When did you join? What were you looking for? Did you find it? What do you wish the lodge could provide?
On the Square,
Ephraim Sng, Worshipful Master
FROM THE SECRETARY’S DESK
We are now into a new year! Some notable things are happening in the Lodge.
First, congratulations to Brother Austin Stoker, who passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft on January 30th. The degree was very well performed.
Second, we welcomed back Worshipful Brother Jerry Acton, Sr., who has recovered his health enough to begin participating in Lodge meetings again. He attended our FC Degree practice, where he acted as our virtual candidate, and was present at Brother Austin’s Degree. We also welcomed back Bro. Brandon Albrecht, whom we had not seen in Lodge in quite some time. He looks great and has lost about 80 pounds. It was very good to see these brethren in Lodge again! We will also be balloting on the petition of Mr. Fali’olo at our February stated meeting, and assuming he is elected, we will be performing his initiation later in the month. Finally, we will also be petitioning on a petition of restoration from Brother Mike Hartman.
The 151st Communication of the Grand Lodge of Utah will be held on the 3rd and 4th. We will be receiving a report from our officers who attended at the stated meeting, and we will recapitulate the information relevant to our Lodge in the March Trestleboard.
We have received dues from about 1/2 our brethren as of January 31st. For those who have already taken care of this, thank you! For those who have not yet paid your dues, consider this a courtesy reminder that Lodge dues are always due on the 1st day of the year. Please check your wallets to see if you have a 2023 dues card. If you do not, then please take a few moments to take care of this matter now while you are reading this. Instructions on how to pay your dues can be found on this page on our website.
Glen Van Steeter, PM – Secretary
Thank you for coming out and supporting our efforts volunteering our time at the Utah Food Bank. We had another great turnout and helped prepare food for our fellow men in need.
We had a good turnout at our new meetup location. We may have a few new petitions soon. Thanks for coming out for the good food and even better fellowship. See you all next month!
Brother Austin Stoker did a wonderful job on his Entered Apprentice catechism and was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft on January 30. Congratulations on your advancement! The Fellowcraft degree has so much information that I’m sure it will take more time to more fully appreciate it. A wonderful job done by the Degree team.
These brethren were raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason in the month of February.
- Brother George Auer, raised on February 16, 1978 and has 45 years of service.
- Brother Steve Horman, PM, raised on February 17, 2014 and has 9 years of service.
- Brother Albert Shahinaian, raised on February 25, 1979 and has 44 years of service.
These brethren were born in February. Make sure and wish them a “Happy Birthday!” when you see them this month!
- Brother Christopher Van Steeter, born on February 11.
- Brother Jaysen “Dewey” Roundy, born on February 17.
- Brother Miles Crockett, born on February 28.
Our meetups will begin again after the holiday season. Our first meetup of the year will be January 23, 2023. Our new location will be at Spitz Mediterranean Food in Draper. We’ve been having a great turnout and a great time discussing Masonry in general. Come out with your family for fellowship and fun.
It is no surprise that since the operative art of stone architecture, or “masonry”, and especially the study of the mathematical discipline of geometry, is the foundation of the symbology and allegory of our craft, that we have through our history invented terms that have a basis in operative architecture to refer to The Diety. There are a number of reasons why this has been done.
Firstly, our Craft is universal in nature. Our members represent a number of different theological faiths: Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Native American, and quite a few others. Our Craft also requires that any initiate desiring admission into our Order must declare a belief in a Supreme Being, who is defined as the one supreme intelligence who created the Universe and all else contained therein. Due to this peculiar nature of our institution, God is known by many different “names”. Using just two as an example, in Judaism, the proper name of God is pronounced either “Yahweh” or “Jehovah” (depending on to whom you talk to). Incidentally, this is also the name of God in the Christian faith, which is also an Abrahamic religion. However, the third Abrahamic religion, Islam, refers to God as “Allah”1.
Additionally, certain religions have proscriptions regarding the using of the name of God, especially in an irreverent or profane manner. For this reason, when the Holy Scriptures of Christianity were being written, the Tettragamaton “YHVH” [(remember, ancient Hebrew had no vowels!), which for the Jewish faith represents the actual name of God, and considering that the Ten Commandments contained the following proscription: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”] was replaced with “the LORD”, in order to prevent the name of God from being profaned through the misuse or care of the written scriptures.
Secondly, the basis of our Fraternity is the tools and methods of Operative Masonry.
Our forefathers in Masonry, being cognizant of these things, chose to refer to the Supreme Being in a number of allegorical ways in order to a) recognize the universal nature of Freemasonry and the welcoming of worthy men of many religions to our Order by not referring to Him by the term used by any one singular faith, and b) to avoid the possibility of inadvertently violating the commandment mentioned above.
As a Mason, you will hear and use many of the following phrases when referring to the Supreme Being of all the Universe:
- the Great Architect of the Universe
- the Grand Architect of the Universe
- the Great Artificer of the Universe
- the Grand Artificer of the Universe
As you can see, when abbreviated, these all spell out “G.A.O.T.U.” We never use the phonic representation of this abbreviation, which is pronounced “GOW-TOO”. Never.
So how did these peculiar terms for referring to the Supreme Creator come into use in Freemasonry? Well, like much else about our Craft, this is hidden in the mists of history and likely well before modern Craft Masonry became standardized in 1717. However, in Milton’s Paradise Lost, we find the following passage: “In His hand he took the golden Compasses, prepared in God’s eternal store, to circumscribe this Universe, and all created things.” Going further back, Dante wrote in his Divine Comedy: “He that with turning compass drew the world’s confines.” Both authors are referring to the Diety in these passages, and the acts being described are, of course, the creation of the Universe and the earth and all the things contained within it. Wallace McLeod, a noted Canadian Masonic scholar, in his book The Grand Design, declares that the phrase entered Freemasonry in the first Book of Constitutions (1723) of the first or premier Grand Lodge of England, which was written by Rev. James Anderson, a minister of the Scottish Presbyterian Church. Anderson would have been much influenced by the writings of John Calvin, who repeatedly used “the Architect of the Universe” in his theological work entitled Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536).
This seems to be a probable and likely explanation for the source of the Masonic usage of the term Great Architect of the Universe.
From a more architectual point of view:
The Compasses are also an operative Mason’s tool, to be used for measuring and also for the purpose of inscribing perfect circles of a predetermined circumference. As a Masonic symbol, the compasses are intended to be used to draw a boundary line around the individual Mason. The Compasses themselves represent the Law. The area within the circumference drawn by the Compasses is the domain of right, ethical and moral behavior in accordance with the Law. The point in the center of the circumference, left by the static point of the Compasses, represents the individual man or Mason. The area outside of the circumference is considered to be the domain of unrighteous, immoral, passionate or intemperate behavior, from which conflict and self-interest arises.
As Freemasonry sprang from the Operative Masonic Lodges, it is entirely appropriate that the term “architect”, “builder” or “artificer” might be used to represent a moral being, virtuously educated, dedicated to building (whether physical structures, or spritual edifices fit for the righteous). And adding “Grand” or “Great” to “Architect” or “Artificer” then becomes a useful allegorical reference to that one Supreme Intelligence without promoting one faith or belief and thereby create rancor, jealously or unhappiness between the members of our Craft.
It should be mentioned that through history, a number of anti-Masonic authors have attempted to either claim that “GAOTU” is the name of the “Masonic God”, which is of course patently false, or to make God an abstract thing, which is equally incorrect. Otherwise, why we would admonish our members to remember and observe the Moral Law?
Fraternally submitted for your consideration,
Glen Van Steeter, PM
Secretary – Twin Peaks Lodge No. 32
1 “Allah” is Arabic for “God”. Etymologically, the name Allah is probably a contraction of the Arabic al-Ilah (“the God”). Note the similarity to Elohim, which is the plural of Eloah, which is Hebrew for the word “God”. Also note, that Allah, Elohim or Eloah means “God”, and is not intended to be represented as the name of God. As such, “God” is a title or position, like “president”, “teacher”, or “truck driver”.