I have a question, which relates to the Fall 2016 edit. of the ESM magazine, pg.46, From The Grand Lecturer. [2nd Q&A-Ballotting] and Std. Work & Lectures, pg. 15 -19, specifically pg. 17, “Ballotting”.
Why is using the “DG & S” optional?
While to my knowledge there is no “definitive, on paper” answer to this question, and when not explicitly stated by Grand Lodge, I tend to follow Past Grand Lecturer, RW Charles Toombs, when it comes to these “gray” questions concerning Ritual, and default to Common Sense. That being said….
Giving the DG & S every time a ballot is called for would be redundant. As Masons we hold ourselves to a higher level of morality and civility. Our only concern should be “Does this person live up to the tenants of Masonry?” , “Does he meet the moral qualifications to be a Mason?” & “Will this person benefit the Craft and in turn benefit from the teachings/experience of the Craft?”
There is also the WM’s reminder not let your ballot be influenced by “personal prejudices or private piques and grudges.”
However, after all that, and 2 rounds of balloting, should the Master decide that the DG &S are necessary, it serves to remind those of my previous statements and that they should consider their ballot as it will decide the course of action taken by the Lodge. That their decision will reflect on the Lodge itself. The DG & S become an unwavering assurance for the WM that however the Brethren ballot they are sure of their decision.