FREEMASONRY focuses on making good men better through its teachings.
By Worshipful Brother Paul Weathers.
Freemasons are men who professes a belief and places their trust in the Supreme Deity, regardless of the name they associate with that Supreme Deity (i.e., God, Jehovah, Allah, Great Spirit, or any other name used in his religious affiliation). Freemasons apply the image of working tools used in the builders trades as well as the Holy Writings (of their chosen faith) to remind them of the moral and ethical truths. Living these truths serves for the betterment of life and good for mankind.
Freemasonry isn’t a religious but it has a creed and I here quote Albert Pike, “It teaches what it deems to be truth in respect to the nature and attributes of God.”
We Freemasons bind ourselves together with good and like minded men; in a worldwide fraternal organization of brotherhood that transcends all origin, ethnic, cultural, social, religious, economic, political, or educational differences. We actively seek out ways in which to serve God, our family, our fellowman, and our country, all in fellowship with our brethren in this Honorable Order of Freemasonry. We dedicate ourselves to experiencing truth and freedom for others and ourselves through enlightenment, obedience to the laws of the land under whose protection we live, honesty with our fellowman, and integrity in all aspects of human behavior, and charity to the best of our abilities.
Freemasonry is the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization, an educational and charitable Order of Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God, dedicating ourselves to moral conduct, mutual respect, relief, and leadership; benevolence and altruism; promoting the welfare and happiness for mankind as our duty. We find clues of Freemasonry’s existence in ancient times; but we can’t document definite proof of its age as a fraternity. But it’s evident that much likeness was in those ancient organizations of men to modern Freemasonry; men enjoying the sharing of fellowship with each other, learning together how to practice the virtues of honesty, tolerance, and integrity in their daily lives.
Freemasons realize that it’s a blessing to our minds and our souls to perform acts of kindness and good deeds for others, without feeling it necessary to receive anything in return. Therefore we try to contribute, not always monetarily, but sometimes of time and ourselves. We therefore live our lives in such a manner as to make this world a better place because of the virtuous life we live while on God’s earth.
Freemasons know that their choices and means of worship will be respected by their fellows in the brotherhood and we mutually agree to never impose our individually chosen faith on one another. We are expected to have a belief in the Supreme Deity, by whatever our concept or name we have for Him. Freemasonry is not intended to be a religion, a substitute for religion, or a replacement of our devotion to the means and places of worship of our chosen faith. We offer no sacraments, religious doctrines, nor do we make claims to saving of souls. However, we do actively encourage each individual’s study of the Sacred Writings pertinent to our individual choice of religious faith.
To become a Freemason you should ask one that is a Mason in good standing
(a current dues card from a Masonic Lodge) to guide you in petitioning a local Masonic Lodge for the degrees of Freemasonry. Or, you may contact the Grand Lodge of your State for referral to a Lodge close to where you live. Don’t wait to be asked to join the Freemasons, as that may never happen. Until very recent years, members were forbidden to solicit new members. This policy was based on the old and honored concept that one must come to Freemasonry of his own free and unsolicited will. Many members, especially those with longevity in the fraternity, still believe this policy should be upheld and will never ask you to become a Mason, even though he may believe that you would be an excellent candidate.
There is more to becoming a Freemason than just to pay a few dollars and be a “club member.” Freemasonry isn’t just a social club; it is truly a way of life. If you think this way of life is what you want for your life, take the time to seek out a current member of this ancient worldwide fraternity of brotherhood and express your interest. Keep asking until you have a petition and it submitted to a Lodge for consideration.
Your request for consideration for membership will probably be put on hold for a period of time so the members of the lodge can become acquainted with you and you with them. After a period of time your petition will be read before the lodge, sent to Grand Lodge for review, while an investigating committee appointed by the Master will visit you. Your petition will then be read before the lodge again and ballots cast by the Lodge members. You will then be notified by the lodge secretary of the ballot results, and if elected, when to appear for the first of three serious degrees, (no hazing of candidates permitted). After each degree the candidate must learn the catechism of that degree with the aid of an appointed coach. When you are properly prepared, you will be required to prove your proficiency to the Lodge and subsequently you will be scheduled for the next degree. The elapsed time between your degrees will depend on how fast you learn and the Lodge’s schedules. However there are time restrictions established by Grand Lodge on how long you can take in learning the catechisms.
The three degrees of Freemasonry are often referred to as the Blue (or Symbolic) Lodge. When you’ve been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason (third degree) and have returned your proficiency for that degree you will be free to join other Masonic Organizations if you wish. However, you should always remember that the Blue Lodge is the foundation of all of Masonry and your allegiance should always be to the Blue Lodge as you will have obligated yourself to do so under oath (or affirmation). Good men of all walks of life, from common laborer to Kings, Presidents, and Potentates, have petitioned for the honor of being a Freemason. In Lodge, all Brothers are considered to be equal regardless of their status in the outside world.
If you have questions contact me at 520-290-6260, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.