ARE THE MASONS?
Masons are men
who have decided they like to feel good about themselves and others.
They care about the future as well as the past, and do what they can,
both alone and with others, to make the future good for everyone.
Many men over many generations have answered this question,
WHO ARE THE MASONS?
The answer is simple. Freemasons are members of a fraternity known as
Freemasonry or Masonry. A fraternity is a group of men (just as a
sorority is a group of women) who join together because:
There are things they want to do in the world.
There are things they want to do "inside their own minds."
They enjoy being together with men they like and respect.
HOW DOES A MAN BECOME A FREEMASON?
Some men are surprised that no one has ever asked them to become a
Mason. They may even feel that the Masons in their town don't think they
are "good enough" to join. But it doesn't work that way. For hundreds of
years, Masons have been forbidden to ask others to join the fraternity.
We can talk to friends about Freemasonry. We can tell them about what
Freemasonry does. We can tell them why we enjoy it. But we can't ask,
much less pressure, anyone to join.
There's a good reason for that. It isn't that we're trying to be
exclusive. But becoming a Mason is a very serious thing. Joining
Freemasonry is making a permanent life commitment to live in certain
ways. We've listed most of them above -- to live with honour and
integrity, to be willing to share with and care about others, to trust
each other, and to place ultimate trust in God. No one should be "talked
into" making such a decision.
So, when a man decides he wants to be a Freemasonry Mason, he asks a
Mason for a petition or application. He fills it out and gives it to the
Mason, and that Mason takes it to the local lodge. The Master of the
lodge will appoint a committee to visit with the man and his family,
find out a little about him and why he wants to become a member of the
Masons, tell him and his family about Freemasonry, and answer their
questions. The committee reports to the lodge, and the lodge votes on
the petition. If the vote is affirmative -- and it usually is -- the
lodge will contact the man to set the date for the Entered Apprentice
Degree. When the person has completed all three degrees, he is a Master
Mason and a full member of the Freemasonry fraternity.
WHEN ARE MEN CONSIDERED MASONS?
Freemasons and virtue:
When they can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far
horizon with a profound sense of their own littleness in the vast
scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope, and courage -- which is
the root of every virtue.
Masons and nobility:
When they know that down in their heart every man is as noble, as
vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to
know, to forgive, and to love their fellowman.
Freemasons and sympathy:
When they know how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea,
even in their sins -- knowing that each man fights a hard fight
against many odds.
When they have learned how to make friends and to keep them, and
above all how to keep friends with themselves.
Masons and life:
When they love flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, and feels the
thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little
When they can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of
Freemasons and aiding a distressed voice:
When no voice of distress reaches their ears in vain, and no hand
seeks their aid without response.
When they find good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of
divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name
of that faith may be.
Masons and fellow man:
When they can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond
mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see
something beyond sin.
When they know how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
Masons and their God:
When they have kept faith with themselves, with their fellowman, and
with their God; in their hand a sword for evil, in their heart a bit
of a song -- glad to live, but not afraid to die! - Masons.
Mason and Secrets:
Such men have found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one
which it is trying to give to all the world. These are the Masons.