White stockings, shoes, slip and robe were in my closet and worn twice a month from the time I was eleven until was twenty-one years old. These were the “uniform” of my childhood sorority, the International Order of Job’s Daughters (now Job’s Daughters International).
I joined because my mother told me to. Mom joined because her mother told her to. Nana joined because her mother signed her up; her mother was a member of Eastern Star because there was not a Job’s Daughters when she was a child.
My uncle and grandfather and great-grandfather were all members of the Free and Accepted Masons – a man’s fraternity best describes as a real life Water Buffalo Lodge like Fred and Barney from The Flintstones went to. They were philanthropist and good citizens. The question of “Who will care for the Widow’s son?”, was less of a inquiry and more of a mandate and call to action.
Freemasonry is the world’s largest, oldest and best-known gentleman’s fraternity. It is based on the medieval stonemason guilds who built the great castles and cathedrals of Europe. Modern Freemasons use the tools, traditions and terminology of those stonemasons as allegories for building temples in the hearts of men. It’s said that we are a secret society. We do indeed have secrets—secrets that each individual man has to discover for and about himself. It’s not for everybody. Maybe it’s for you.
“Brother Chris Hodapp
Long before Title 9 came along and girls were allowed to participate in sports and be integrated into all kinds of activities that boys also do, it was a lady named Ethel see we’ve met and she was a feminist. She’s also a member of Eastern Star and surrounded by Masons. She longs for a group where girls would become Civic leaders. She wanted them to learn parliamentary procedure civic duty as well as basic etiquette and the charms that help a girl turn into a woman and function gracefully and Society. She created Job’s Daughters .
It is pronounced “Job’s like robes”, not Jobs like Steve, the founder of Apple.
Ethel loved the Bible story of Job. She particularly enjoyed the feminist leanings of Job when he called for his daughters to be legally equal to their brothers and inherent his wealth equally with them. The book of Job is also the first place where “The Adversary”, often presumed to be Satan, makes an appearance in the Bible. As the story goes oh, one day God was talking in heaven about this man named Job. God made comments about what a good servant he is and how love he felt by the human. His angels are enjoying the story but a member of his advisory Council wondered if Job really loves God or simply had the luxury of loving God because he also had the luxury of a lot of property , and family.
They decided to test the theory. God is certain that Job loves him for all the correct reasons.
All of his Beast of Burdens, which I assume would be cows and such, are carried away by plundering tribes. Basically our man was robbed. Well Joe certainly think this is a bummer he prays to God and tells God how great his life is and how much he loves him. God reports back to the adversary that he still has a faithful and loving servant. It is decided that the human will be tested again with the loss of his beloved family. His children all died at once. All 10 children died. Job was sad to lose his seven sons and three daughters and his home. I am sure that he cried. He also cried out to God and told him about his feelings feeling of great love for God. God had given him his children and God had called them back to him. Job had faith that God knew what he was doing and professed his love for his creator.
One more test was set for our hero. Job was stricken with disease. He had to leave his hometown and all that he had known in order to go live but other people who were as sick as he was. Even still, he prayed to God about his faith and his love.
About this time, three of Job’s friends came to visit him. Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar we’re his three closest friends. They also gave advice like you might find in the comment section have your Facebook update. They had solutions. They had ideas. They were certain that Job was wrong. These friends urged Job to believe that God did not love him and that maybe there was no God at all if all these horrible things could happen in his life.
“Eliphaz represents the biblical or rabbinic tradition—Job is being punished for his sins; Bildad expresses the view of the Mutazillites—Job is being tested to receive a greater reward; and Zophar presents the view of the Asharites—Job suffers because of God’s arbitrary will” -Maimonides
Job was steadfast and reminded them that all good things come from God, and actually all things come from him, including some we find unpleasant like the loss of a family pet, the destruction of our homes , and the death of children.
Soon after this, God makes an appearance in the story as well. There’s a whirlwind and the voice of God comes out of it set the record straight. God is mad. He offers to let any of the three friends rule the universe because they think they could do a better job. He reminds them that they have to take care of the good and the weak while tearing down the bad and the prideful people. It is a bug universe and if they want to be in charge of the earth making its orbit the sun and the moon traveling through space along their appointed pathways, he is ready so let them take on the challenge.
Clearly this is more than any of these men ever expected. I don’t know what happened to the three friends, Job is returned to his home and all that is lost is given back to him including seven new sons and three new daughters. These are the three daughters he values equally with their brothers and demands with the world also see them as equal to his sons.
The story of Job is a lesson of life that applies to us many times in our lives. Bad things happen and we are tempted to lose faith when Faith does not seem easy. We all have friends who have questionable judgement and are super happy to jump in and tell us that we are living wrong and are uneducated and uninformed and should change your belief system to match theirs. We all experienced the loss of loved ones. The story of Job is a small book in the Holy Bible and it is action packed and entertaining and also a small instruction book for how to handle a crisis.
A sorority was built using this as its foundation story. The members of the order wear a long white Grecian robes as it is imagined that job’s daughters might actually have worn. Because the sorority is aimed at young girls who are transitioning into women , the top offices are princesses and queen instead of vice presidents and presidents.
The Tiaras and formal dresses are super cool ,but nothing was cooler then using my great-grandfather’s gavel when I was Honored Queen.
I learned how to take minutes like a proper secretary , and parliamentary procedure, how to make and pass a motion, how to budget an organization for six months at a time, how to organize and Implement fundraisers and activities for large groups of people, how to properly pour tea and set a table, and how to talk to strangers. This last week I was at Disneyland with my youngest daughter and I are friends. Someone commented and how easily I navigate crowds and strangers. I confess, I learned that from the adults who watched over me while I was a Job’s daughters member.
I was lucky enough to do something no other women in my family had been able to. I was elected to a leadership position in my local Group which we call a Bethel (like troop for Girl Scouts). When I was in college I was elected to represent my Bethel to the state of California, and the state of California Bethel appointed me as the representative to Ohio and West Virginia. This was so very fun. I traveled with a wonderful group of young women who are still my friends 25 years later.
My original Bethel Guardian and members of my local Arcadia battle are still on my Facebook and I keep up with their lives.
For the longest time I was the youngest member of that group and I idolized the older girls.
They were leaders of the flags and drill team , volunteers at the hospital ,presidents of their other clubs, and highly gifted and achieving girls. They inspired me. I was then, and always will be, the awkward one, the goofy one, the arty dork who likes music a little too much. I will also always be their Bethel Sister with years of memories of car washes and sleepovers and fundraisers and listening to the Top 40 countdown on Saturday mornings together. Together remastered changing from pajamas to Formal Wear in under 5 minutes. I may have also learned the Fine Art of toilet-papering somebody’s house, oops.
This weekend the state of California Jobs Daughters are having their annual convention which we call the Grand Bethel. I am filled with nostalgia as I watch younger women continue the heritage of Free Masons.
My oldest daughter was not interested, but my little one is more like me, the youngest of her girlfriends and they are definitely doing the Job’s Daughter life. There are two other Masonic Youth Groups, Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay for boys.
Here you can see Darla and some of her friends at Andrew’s DeMolay installation.
Clearly they have the Formal Wear portion and friendship down.
Two of her friends are at their first Grand Bethel .
They are already kind and sweet girls.
I can honestly answer “Why are you interested in social welfare?” by explaining that I learned philanthropy and citizenship from my local Bethel and raised awareness of Shriner’s Hospital for Children, The Ronald McDonald House, Reading for the Blind, Hearing Impaired Kid’s Endowment Fund and more as a teen.