About the Fraternity
Masonry is the world’s first and largest fraternal organization and is based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to help make the world a better place. Through our culture of philanthropy, we make a profound difference for our brothers, our families, our communities, and our future. Our is to foster personal growth and improve the lives of others, and is carried out through Masonic principles and tradition. We have a dignified common purpose of making this a better world by which to live in, becoming better men, men of character, men of courage, men of conviction, men who follow Masonry and its teachings, men who in their daily lives are projecting by their leadership and example true brotherly love, relief, and truth.
The Principles of Freemasons
Freemasons have a set of basic principles that they all live by. Masonic lodge members promise never to bring anything offensive or defensive into the lodge with them — both weapons and words. The object of the lodge is to create a place where those divisions are left outside, so Masons can engage in activities that unite them instead of separating them:
A Moral Code:
Freemasons believe in honour and that a man has a responsibility to behave honourably in everything he does. Freemasonry teaches its members the principles of personal decency and personal responsibility. It hopes to inspire them to have charity and good will toward all mankind, and to translate principles and convictions into action.
Freemasonry is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of all mankind. Freemasonry teaches its members that unselfishness is a duty and that it’s not only more blessed to give than to receive, but also more rewarding. Freemasonry does not solicit donations from members of the public.
Freemasonry teaches a system of morality and brotherhood by the use of symbols and dramatic presentations. It encourages its members to expand their knowledge of the world around them.
Religious, not a religion:
Freemasons believe in the brotherhood of man, under the fatherhood of God. Freemasonry isn’t a religion, but it is religious because it requires its members to have faith in a Supreme Being, according to the individual Mason’s belief. It’s not a sectarian organization and does not promote one religion over another. Masonic ceremonies describe a moral code, using basic principles that are common to all religions. If you are an atheist, then you cannot be a Freemason.
Freemasonry stands for the reverence of God and the proper place of individual faith in society; for truth and justice; for fraternity and philanthropy; and for orderly civil, religious, and intellectual liberty.
It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any province in which he may reside. However, Masonry does philosophically oppose tyranny, dictatorship, and any destruction of human dignity.
One of the first rules of Freemasonry forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of religious matters and politics — topics likely to cause personal arguments. It’s also against the fundamental principles of Freemasonry for Masonic organizations to take political action or attempt to influence elections or legislation.
Equality Among Members:
Freemasonry regards no man for his worldly wealth, social status, or outward appearance. Kings, princes, sultans, and potentates have been Masons. So have paperboys, garbage men, factory workers, and fast-food fry cooks. Freemasonry is not a benefit society. It offers no pecuniary advantage or reward, nor does it require its members to support one another in business or employment.
Deciding If Freemasonry Is For You
Anyone thinking of becoming a Freemason should be satisfied in his own mind that he desires the intellectual and moral improvement of himself and his fellow citizens; that he is willing to devote part of his time and money to promoting fellowship, charity and integrity and be able to afford it without affecting himself or his family’s commitments; and that he seeks no commercial, social or pecuniary advantage by wishing to join.
Freemasonry is a voluntary organization, and it is up to a would-be member to ask to be considered for membership. However, it is not improper for a Mason, once only, to suggest to a man who he considers could be a good member, that he might give some thought to the idea.
No one should join Freemasonry unless he can afford to pay the expenses involved, without affecting his ability to support his family. These expenses include the joining fee, the annual subscription, and a regular donation to charity. In addition, most meetings are followed by a dinner or supper. The actual costs vary from Lodge to Lodge. He should have discussed the prospect of his becoming a Freemason with his wife/partner and be satisfied that he/she is supportive of his application. He should not put his employment at risk by becoming a Freemason.