WHAT IS MASONRY?
Masonry, or Freemasonry is a 600-year fraternity with a 3,000 year tradition and it the prototype of most modern fraternal organizations. The Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. It is a universal fraternity of friends and brothers who seek to become better men through their association with one another and their families.
In a society whose moral values are severely tested, Masonry brings men together for fellowship and the promotion of integrity and good citizenship. Not a religion, Masonry does require a belief in a Supreme Being and urges its members to be faithful and devoted to their own religious
beliefs. Not political, it encourages its members and their families to be good citizens and to choose their own best means of political expression.
Not a welfare institution or a benefit society, its selective charities and good works in the community and nation are valuable beyond measure.
WHO ARE THE MASONS?
Masonic Lodge members in the United States may be highly visible as Shiners in costume, or Knights Templar in uniform, or as apron-wearers in public processions and at funeral services, or in Lodge regalia at special Masonic ceremonies such as the placing of cornerstones (the United States Capitol in 1793 and the Statue of Liberty in 1884 are but a few famous examples) or they may individually identifiable by a distinctive ring or lapel pin; but in most cases they are not outwardly distinguishable in any way at all. They are simply a cross section of the solid citizen majority of the population – mostly worthy, ordinary people, self-respecting, considerate, civic minded, patriotic, law-abiding, usually church going, many are leaders in their communities. Some are world famous.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A MASON?
Who chooses the men who become Masons? Who selects the candidates and asks them to join?
No One! It is our rule that each person must seek membership of his volition. No man should wait too be asked. Some men who would like to become Masons never do because they do not know this. They wait for someone to ask them, and of course, no one does. A man who desires to become a Mason asks for a petition (application) from the Mason he knows best – a relative, friend or close acquaintance. That Mason then proposes him in his own lodge or arranges to have him proposed in another lodge. An investigating committee must be named by the lodge, and when they have concluded their investigation into the suitability of the individual, they report to the lodge. If their report is favorable and individual receives a unanimous ballot in the lodge, he then participates in three ceremonies – the three Degrees of the lodge – and may sign the by-laws and become a regular member of the lodge.
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
Masonry’s ritual and symbolism teach principles and ideals in human relations of kindness, honesty and decency, courtesy, fairness, understanding and concern, as well as love of country, reverence toward God and resistance toward evil.
2 B 1 ASK 1