Questions About Freemasonry
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest secular fraternal societies. The explanation may correct some misconceptions. Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
The Essential Qualification for Membership:
The essential qualification for admission into and continuing membership is a belief in a Supreme Being. Membership is open to men of any race or religion who can fulfill this essential qualification and are of good repute.
Freemasonry and Religion:
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. Its essential qualification opens it to men of many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.
The Three Great Principles:
For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles:
Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Freemasons are taught to practice charity, and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.
Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
Freemasonry and Society:
Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of the country in which a man works and lives. Its principles do not in any way conflict with its members’ duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their private and public responsibilities. The use by a Freemason of their membership to promote his own or anyone else’s business, professional or personal interests is condemned, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry. His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonorably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty.
The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition. It is not a secret society, since all members are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to inquiries for respectable reasons. Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. There is no secret about any of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters for its members.
Freemasonry and Politics:
Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden.
A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to God through his faith and religious practice; and then, without detriment to his family and those dependent on him, to his neighbor through charity and service. None of these ideas is exclusively Masonic, but all should be universally acceptable. Freemasons are expected to follow them.
To be good citizens by practicing the highest moral and social standards in friendship, charity and integrity.
To encourage our members to serve their own religion and community.
To demonstrate that we are a society of upright men.
To enjoy each others company and develop team spirit and fellowship.
We are dedicated to making good men better and to developing our knowledge of ourselves as individuals and the world around us through education, discussion and social exchange.
We aim to make proper use of our time, dividing it between worship, work, leisure and service, thus making the best use of our mental and physical abilities.
We aim to use our talents for the benefit of ourselves, our families, our neighbors and our communities throughout our private, public, business and professional life.
We declare our membership whenever any possible conflict of interest may arise or be perceived to arise.
We promise not to use our membership to promote our own or anyone else’s private, public, business or professional interests.
How can I become a Mason?
To become a Freemason you must:
- Be a man of at least 21 years of age
- Be of good moral character
- Have a personal belief in a Supreme Being (the definition of a Supreme Being is a personal matter for each individual)
- Decide to become a Mason of “your own free will and accord” without expectation of any material gain or benefits
- Be loyal to your country
- Be dedicated to providing for your own family
- Have a sincere determination to conduct yourself in a manner that will earn the respect and trust of others
- Possess a desire to help others through community service and universal benevolence
TO PURSUE YOUR INTEREST IN BECOMING A MEMBER follow these steps:
- Talk with someone you know who is a Freemason
- If you do not know anyone who is a Mason, contact a Lodge in your neighborhood
- Masons do not solicit for members. You’ll need to express your personal interest in joining Freemasonry
- You may be invited to meet with the Lodge Committee or selected Members to discuss your application and to answer your questions.
- Subject to you being considered eligible and properly motivated you will be asked to complete an application for membership and return it to your local Lodge Secretary
Your application will be presented to a Lodge Meeting and a secret ballot conducted in which Members vote on your suitability. You will be notified of the result and invited to attend a Lodge Meeting for your initiation into Membership.
Freemasonry teaches lessons in morality and self-knowledge through participation in a progression of allegorical two-part plays, which are learned by heart and performed by members within each Lodge. Freemasonry offers, and encourages in its members, an approach to life, which seeks to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but importantly Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.