Demanding the Word

One day after finishing his daily devotion in the S:. S:., Grand Master
Hiram Abif left the room by his usual route.

As he exited the South gate, he was confronted by a Fellowcraft Mason from the working site of the Temple, who demanded, “Grand Master Hiram Abif, I have been working on the Temple for some time and I now desire the Master’s Word.”

Hiram asked, “Why do you seek this Word?”

“So that I might receive the benefits of being a Master Mason,” the Fellowcraft replied.

“What are those benefits?” queried Hiram.

“The freedom to travel and to earn a Master’s wage,” the Fellowcraft answered.

“Fine. Come with me,” said Hiram and they proceeded to the West Gate.

Upon arriving, they met a confused and surprised second Fellowcraft Mason who made the same demand.

Hiram asked, “Why do you seek this Word?”

“So that I might receive the benefits of being a Master Mason,” the second Fellowcraft replied.

“What are those benefits?” queried Hiram.

“The freedom to travel and to earn a Master’s wage,” the second Fellowcraft answered.

“Fine. Come with me,” said Hiram and they proceeded to the East Gate.

Upon arriving, they met a surprised and agitated third Fellowcraft Mason who also demanded the Master’s Word. Hiram asked the same questions as for the other two, and received the same responses.

When he invited all three Fellowcrafts to follow him, the third, now even more irritated, said, “I am not sure why I should go with you. Why can’t you just give us the word here?”

“That Word can only be communicated in the presence of myself, King
Solomon and King Hiram,” replied Master Hiram. “Both Kings are at the port overseeing the offloading of several barges of important material for the Temple.”

So, Master Hiram and the three Fellowcraft Masons proceeded to the port.

“King Solomon, here are three Fellowcrafts who have worked on the
Temple for some time and have demanded of me to give them the Master’s Word. We are here to have that communicated,” Said Master Hiram.

“Why do you Masons desire this word?” King Solomon asked the three Fellowcrafts.

“So that we might receive the benefits of being Master Masons,” they replied.

“And what are those benefits?” queried King Solomon.

“The freedom to travel and to earn Masters wages,” they replied.

Walking to the closest ship in the port, King Solomon called, “Captain, when your ship is empty, take these three Fellowcrafts anywhere outside my kingdom they want to go.”

Turning to the three Fellowcrafts, King Solomon said. “Since you desire to be free, you have my permission to go. However, the guards of this port and all other entrances to my kingdom will henceforth have instructions to imprison you should you ever presume to return.”

The three dropped to their knees and said, “Oh Grand Masters! We are sorry to have troubled you and now desire nothing but to return to our work on the Temple.”