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VERIFY TWICE, AND WHISPER ONCE
A Guide to
Whispering Good Council

by Carl A Davenport




How is the Masonic term, “Whisper good council in the ear of an erring brother” supposed to work?
As brothers, and belonging to mankind, we are all flawed in everything we think or do. When our thoughts and/or actions are compared to the perfection given us in the Rule and Guide of our Faith, we always “miss the mark” or “fall short of the glory.”

With this “miss the mark” or “fall short of the glory” in mind, when we see a brother doing what mankind does best, which is “miss the mark, or “fall short of the glory,” what do we do as his brother and as a brother to those around him? Since each and every one of us “miss the mark,” or “fall short of the glory” on a regular basis, how does anyone of us qualify to whisper good council into the ear of a brother also living in this “fall short of the glory” filled world, when we are all guilty parties?

If we are going to whisper good council, we first have to have good council to whisper. If we don't we speak with the tongues of men or angels, and have not charity, and become as sounding brass or a tinkling symbol.

There are a few things the whisperer of good council should do before any good council is even been considered about being whispered.  Should he not do these things, he will surely “miss the mark” or “fall short of the glory” with the whispering of good council. The first step in whispering good council is to verify the facts. We should know the facts about who we are planning on whispering good council to, and we should know the facts about the person who gave us the report that makes us want to whisper the good council. So we have two (2) sources to verify, and one (1) source to whisper to. Like a carpenter who measures twice and cuts once, we should VERIFY TWICE AND WHISPER ONCE, but before we whisper,  we must verify if it fits into the meaning of the Masonic term “give due and timely notice.” If it does not verify, or does not fit into the meaning of “give due and timely notice,” we write it off as a rumour and we sigh that we were not deceived. This is how we learn to know who to listen and who not to listen to in the future.

1. The first thing to be sure of is; “Is this the truth” that I am about to engage myself into whispering good council about. Because the best lies are 99% truth.

2. The second is; Is “due and timely notice” required in this situation. Sometimes the rumour fits. Most of the time rumours do not fit into the due and timely part of the equation, so they are just an attempt to deceive you into spreading a rumour. Usually a vicious one. Be careful or you will be deceived.

The Rule and Guide of our Faith also states in Gal 6:7-10 that we will surely reap what we sow at the end of the growing season, unless we die before the end of the growing season comes. Should you receive a rumour and pass it on, you have sowed the seed of rumour. Like planting an apple tree, you will reap a tree full of apples for years to come from one little seed.

So, VERIFY TWICE, AND IF YOU NEED TO WHISPER, WHISPER ONCE.  The seeds of brotherly love you plant when a whisper is called for and you do it in good faith will harvest an abundance of brotherly love.

Like anything else you plan to do, we have to verify its worth and figure the costs. When we don’t, we have cost over runs and wind up spending more than we can afford. The same is true here, but not in terms of monetary value. When we do our homework we eliminate many errors on our part. Our homework includes three steps.

1. VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE ONLY IF NEEDED
How did I learn about it? Did I PERSONALLY verify what I am hearing? If I heard it from a third party, is it the truth? Does it contain any half truths that add a twist in the favour of who I received this from? I should just believe any rumour because it came from a brother, and brother doesn’t lie to other brothers…do they???? Hearing a rumour is a test of how short of the glory I am. If someone is trying to deceive me into passing their rumours around, and if I pass it on to someone else without doing my investigation and verifying their rumours, I failed the good council test before a single whisper because I didn’t whisper any council, I became their deceiver by yelling an unproven lie from the rooftops about a brother. I fell way short of the glory by a marginal measure because I allowed myself to be used by someone who is unable to even register on the glory scale. If I believe another mason will not lie to me about another mason, and pass it on to another, I have been deceived and fall short of the glory and become the spreader of mis-information.

2. VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE ONLY IF NEEDED
Should a rumour prove itself to be true in my investigation, should I bring it to the attention of the erring brother IN PRIVATE, or should I lower my Masonic character by broadcasting or spreading it around the grandstands of Freemasonry, so all are aware? What do you think when someone comes to you with a rumour about another brother. Do you think the spreader of the disease should be put under penalty more so than the receiver? We all fall short of the glory, some shorter than others. It’s the intent that counts first, then the act. If you fall short without intent, it’s your nature. If someone spreads rumours about you falling short, or even if they are trying to make it look like you fall short, that is not nature. That is the intent first, then the act, and does fit into the meaning of the Masonic term “give due and timely notice.” It fits in the term of unmasonic conduct. The key word of the due and timely term here is “due.” If the notice is not due, and it is given it is not due notice, it is slander or an attempt to damage a brother’s character. Remember the tinkling cymbal? It’s tinkling loudly.

3. VERIFY YOURSELF
Before one whispers any good council; he should make sure all the weeds are removed from his flower garden first. Some may have grown there from the source of what you are about to whisper. If there are many weeds in your garden, you have only those weeds to share.  If there are weeds in your garden, you should be pulling them, before you enter another garden, to pull weeds?

The person who has very few weeds in his own garden also has very few whispers unless he sees the whisper is needed to protect a brother at the time he needs to be protected. There is no preparing a brother way ahead of time for doom by whispering good council too far in advance. Due and timely have the meaning of "at the time an event is about to happen" and shouldn’t be used a long time ahead of time to default one brother against another. It should be used only when apparent danger true harm is coming their way. Otherwise it is only deception disguised as brotherly love.  Don’t allow anyone who has not character enough to be listed on the scale of falling short of the glory bring you into their mud hole. VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE
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