Become a Freemason
We are Building Character
Some men are surprised that no one has ever asked them to become a Freemason. They may even feel that Freemasons don’t think they are “good enough” to join, but it does not work that way. For hundreds of years, Freemasons 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. It's just that becoming a Freemason is a very serious thing. Joining Freemasonry is making a permanent life commitment to live with honor and integrity, to be willing to share with and care about others, to trust each other, and to place your ultimate trust in God. No one should be “talked into” making such a decision.
If you have decided to read on, you will have already taken an important first step.
You may be surprised to know that members of the Craft will not ask you to petition the Masonic Fraternity for membership. Membership into a Lodge is considered to be only entrusted to individuals who are already believed to be of the finest character, for only individuals of the finest character will be favorably considered for membership within this Fraternity. You can take comfort in knowing that the individuals who agree to sponsor you into our Fraternity already feel that you have shown some virtuous interest in this fraternity; that you have displayed some admirable trait or quality which they may have recognized within themselves or others within the fraternity and that they feel that you already possess a solid foundation on which to build.
How do I become a Mason?
If you have some thought of becoming a Freemason you should approach a friend whom you know to be a Freemason and let him know of your interest. Your friend will gladly answer whatever questions you may have with regards to membership. If you decide that you would like to be a Freemason, you would then ask that member for an application.
Qualifications for Membership
Anyone seeking membership to Freemasonry will be presented with an application form, which is used to ascertain that you meet the necessary qualifications to become a member.
First – You must believe in a Supreme Being.
Second - You must be at least 21 years of age.
Third – You must be of high moral standards and free of any criminal record or awaiting the outcome of similar proceedings.
The Process for Joining
That same application form will have to be signed by two current members who will attest that they believe that you are a man of good reputation and well fitted to become a member of their Lodge. Upon receipt of your application, during the next regular Lodge meeting, the Master of the Lodge will appoint a Committee to visit with you and possibly your family. The Committee will want to find out a little about you and why you want to be a Freemason. The Committee will also be able to tell you and your family about Masonry, and answer any of your questions. The Committee then reports to the Lodge, and the Lodge votes on the petition. If the vote is affirmative—and it usually is—an appointed Lodge Representative will contact you to set the date for you initiation. When you have completed all three sections of your initiation, you will have then been made a Master Mason and a full member of the fraternity entitled to receive any benefit and privilege befitting your Level of progression within the Craft.
Who are the Members of Freemasonry?
The Membership of Freemasonry is comprised of members representing virtually every occupation, profession, religious belief, political ideology, and ethnicity that you can imagine. Now imagine this group of men from every walk of life meeting together in one room, once a month. Imagine a meeting of the minds that begins and ends with a common unifying prayer, to always conduct their affairs in peace, harmony, and friendship. A Lodge room full of men who openly call each other “Brother.”
Freemasonry and Religion
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. Its essential qualifications opens it to men of many religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.
The Three Great Principles
For centuries Freemasons have followed these three great principles; these principles guide every Freemason around the globe to this day:
Brotherly Love - Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Relief - Freemasons are taught to practice charity, and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary effort and work as individuals.
Truth - Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.
Freemasons believe that these three principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick, and the elderly. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
Freemasonry and Society
Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of the country in which a man works and lives. Its principles do not, in any way, conflict with its members' duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their private and public responsibilities. The use by a Freemason of their membership to promote his own or anyone's business, professional or personal interests is condemned, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry. His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonorably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty.
The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition. It is not a secret society, since all members are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to inquiries for respectable reasons. Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. There is no secret about any of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters for its members.
Freemasonry and Politics
Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden.
A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to God (by whatever name he is known) through his faith and religious practice; then, without detriment to his family and those dependent on him, to his neighbor through charity and service. None of these ideas is exclusively Masonic, but all should be universally acceptable. Freemasons are expected to follow them.
“What is a Mason?”
Written by Reverend Joseph Fort Newton, Grand Chaplain, Grand Lodge of Iowa, 1911 – 1923.
When is a man a Mason?
When he can look over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope and courage---which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows that down in his 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 his fellowman.
When he knows 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 he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.
When he loves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child.
When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.
When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.
When he finds a 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.
When he 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 he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellowman, and with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song-glad to live, but not afraid to die!
Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all of the world.