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The Virtue of Temperance

By Lyman Penning, PM, HA

When we hear the word "Temperance", what is it that comes to our mind as Masons? My feeling is that Temperance is an aid that enables us to keep our desires under reasonable control. When we practice this virtue, we are able to enjoy various activities in everyday life without allowing problems to occur.

One example of how this virtue helps Masons when we practice it, is when we wish to enjoy alcoholic beverages. When we consume too much alcohol (more than what our bodies can handle), we lose our ability to think clearly and move in such a way that we can end up doing things that are very dangerous and unwise. By drinking alcoholic beverages at safe levels, we can avoid problems that alcohol can create when too much is consumed. This is an example of staying clear of excess and bad habits.

Temperance comes into play when a brother is operating an automobile and must make life saving decisions. Staying calm and not getting emotional about other people's foolishness will help prevent an accident from happening.

Many bad decisions are made when people allow their emotions to get in the way of sound and sensible judgement. What we as Masons need to do is to take a moment and check the results of what could happen by the actions that we are contemplating. So please brethren, always use sound judgement in order to prevent bad choices.


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