Freemasonry in Ontario (Part 4) - The Volume of The Sacred Law
Posted on October 04 2016
“The Volume of The Sacred Law” is one of the foundational doctrines of Freemasonry. It is not necessarily the Bible. It may be another book of faith, and every Mason is required to declare his belief in One Supreme being, the Creator and Ruler of The Universe. How that Mason, in his own finite mind, comes to understand the God in whom he believes is between him and his God. It is not the prerogative of others to specify exactly what, or how, he shall believe. History has proved that such attitudes leads to the bigotry that has caused the martyrdom of countless individuals. Masonry stands for toleration and freedom of religion in its widest sense. The Christian believes in God. For him T.V.O.T.S.L. is the Bible. The Hebrew believes in God. For him T.V.O.T.S.L. is the Torah, the Law of Moses, corresponding to the first five books of the Old Testament. The Moslem believes in God. For him T.V.O.T.S.L. is the Koran. The Buddhist believes in Buddha. For him T.V.O.T.S.L. is usually the Theravada, although, since there are three main streams of Buddhism, each with its own scriptures, it could be another. T.V.O.T.S.L. is therefore central to Masonry. For the Hindu, the Vedas or the Gita represents for him T.V.O.T.S.L No meeting may be held unless the Volume is open on the Altar and, if necessary to a member’s religious beliefs, his V.O.T.S.L. is opened on the Altar when taking his obligation. In international Masonic meetings there could be five, or possibly more V.O.T.S.L.’s on the Altar. Every Mason is admonished by the Order to read and study his V.O.T.S.L., and to make it the rule and guide of his daily conduct through life. Its open pages are a reminder of this for him, while he is in the Lodge.