What is Masonry?
"A regular system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols."
Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest Fraternity. Its history and tradition date to antiquity. Its singular purpose is to make good men better. Its bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries. Freemasonry is neither a forum nor a place for worship. Instead, it is a friend of all religions that are based on the belief in one God.
WHAT FREEMASONRY IS:
It is a voluntary association of men
It is a system of moral conduct. It is a way of life.
It is a fraternal society.
It is religious in its character.
It teaches the Golden Rule.
It seeks to make good men better men.
It teaches morality through symbolism.
It uses secret rites and ceremonies to instruct its members.
It is based on a firm belief in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the Immortality of the Soul.
Its purpose is to improve humanity as a whole, each mason charged to walk uprightly before God and man, and by his rectitude or conduct encouraging others to conduct themselves in like manner.
Its tenets are ethical principles such as are acceptable to all men.
It teaches toleration toward the beliefs of others, and charity toward all mankind.
Masons are proud to proclaim that their fraternity consists of men bound together by bonds of brotherly love and affection, universally applicable throughout the world.
WHAT FREEMASONRY IS NOT:
It is not an insurance or benefit society.
It does not solicit members.
It is neither a religion or a creed.
It is not a charity organization.
It is not organized for profit.
It dictates to no man as to his beliefs, either religious or secular.
It seeks no advantages for its members through business or politics.
It is not a forum for discussion of partisan affairs.
It is not a secret society, as it does not conceal its existence, membership, or purposes.
Masonry teaches love and kindness in the home, honesty and fairness in business or occupation, courtesy in social contacts, help for the weak and unfortunate, resistance to wickedness, trust and confidence in good men, forgiveness toward the penitent, love toward one another and, above all, reverence for the Supreme Being. One of the outstanding features of Freemasonry, and a quality almost unique amoung societies, is a rule of immemorial standing that no man may be asked, invited or solicited to enter the fraternity.
How do I become a Mason?
"Ask one to be one"
Anyone seeking membership in Freemasonry must ask a Masonic friend to recommend him. He must sign a petition stating his age, occupation, and place of residence.
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Principal Tenets of Freemasonry
The principal tenets of the craft are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
The primary objective of Freemasonry is to make good men better. To this aim, masonry teaches via symbols and catechism, and in the simple but effective lessons of work. Masonry employs working tools to convey messages and lessons, including the square, compass, and the trowel. These lessons are taught and illustrated in the three degrees of masonry: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master.
Many of our nation's early patriots were Freemasons, as well as 13 signers of the Constitution and 14 Presidents of the United States including George Washington.
Today, the more than three million Freemasons around the world come from virtually every occupation and profession. Within the Fraternity, however, they all meet as equals. They come from diverse political ideologies, but they meet as friends. They come from virtually every religious belief, but they all believe in one God.
One of the fascinating aspects of Freemasonry has always been: how so many men from so many different walks of life can meet together in peace, never have any political or religious debates, always conduct their affairs in harmony and friendship, and call each other "Brother!"