When looking at the role of the Mentor, an obvious question to ask is:
"Isn't that the role of the Proposer or Seconder?"
To some extent, the answer to this question is "yes, it is".
Some Candidates are fortunate to have a Proposer or Seconder who has not only a sufficient level of knowledge, but also the time and ability to pass that knowledge on to the Candidate.
All too often, this is not the case, and through no fault of either the Proposer or Seconder, care of the Candidate may be neglected.
- They may have an active office in the Lodge that prevents them from spending quality time with their Candidate.
- They may still be at an early stage of their own Masonic career, without the required level of knowledge to be able to answer the Candidate's questions.
- They may be unable to attend Lodge meetings on a regular basis, for reasons of family or business commitments.
This is where the Mentor comes into his own, as someone who can provide the time and the knowledge required to care for the Candidate and develop his understanding of the Order.
It is clear from the above, that the relationship between the parties will very much depend on the knowledge, skill and availability of the Proposer or Seconder. If they are able to do so, one or both of them they may be able to be the Mentor themselves. Alternatively, it may be that they and the Mentor work together, or it might be left solely to the Mentor to provide independent support and guidance.
But no matter how the relationship develops, the Proposer and Seconder must always maintain a close relationship with their Candidate. They are often the reason that he joined the Craft and their enduring friendly relationship with him will only further enhance the work of the Mentor.