Here in the State of Mississippi there is a passage that is read when new Lodge Officers are installed each year. It reads:
If the labors of Freemasonry were confined to the Lodge room, and its influences did not extend beyond its confines; if it had no mission to perform in this world, except the perpetuation of itself by the mere making of Masons; if it did not enter into the daily life and conduct of its initiates and influence their actions for good in their relations to society, to their families and their country, then, indeed, might it be truthfully said to have outlived its usefulness, and the solemn ceremonies which we invite our presence for this occasion a mere waste of time, which could be better employed.
This is a valuable passage to ponder on when we announce that Longstreet Lodge #268 was honored at the 2015 Annual Communication of The Grand Lodge of Mississippi for having conferred the largest number of Master Mason Degrees for the Masonic Year of 2014.
You might wonder why the fraternity would recognize a lodge for having conferred the most Master Mason degrees if it knows that it cannot exist solely for the mere making of masons.
The answer is found within the rest of the passage above.
You see, it happens that when a lodge is filled with Brotherhood and a genuine concern for one another and the families of those Brethren who have traveled beyond that other men of good will are drawn to that behavior and desire to become a part of that Brotherhood.
As such, when a lodge does in fact enter into the daily life and conduct of its initiates it cannot help but, in the end, receive a plentiful amount of petitions for membership and of those petitions a good number of men determine themselves to be able to count themselves among the Master Masons who are their friends.
While it is our honor to receive this award we do so in acknowledgement not that it was the number of degrees that were conferred that mattered, but the friendships and Brotherhood that were established, and we are very happy to have established a good number of them in the Masonic Year of 2014.
It should be noted that Masters of Lodges work within a Calendar Year. However, the Grand Lodge operates in a Masonic Year, from September to August the following year. As such, the lodge achieved this honor under the leadership of 2 Worshipful Masters. Allan Dover and Jared Stanley. However, it truly is the honor of the lodge as a whole to receive this award as each and every member contributes to the fellowship and brotherhood found in a lodge.