Interested in membership? Here is some basic information which should address the question: “Where do I go from here?”
Freemasonry has its lodges throughout the free world. You’ll find Masons meeting in almost every town and village and – except where repressive governments make their existence difficult – they’re readily found. None of these lodges was ever organized as a result of any type of ‘missionary’ work: they came into existence because a group of Masons wanted to share the friendship and fraternity with others in the area.
What is so often misunderstood is a simple fact: there are few but important requirements to become a Freemason!
While they are stated in slightly different words in various jurisdictions (and a few jurisdictions may have one or two requirements beyond these), they basically are as follows:
- Being a man, freeborn, of good repute and well-recommended;
- A belief in a Supreme Being;
- Ability to support one’s self and family;
- Of lawful age; and
- Come to Freemasonry of their “own free will and accord”.
Having expressed a desire to become a Freemason, we presume you are willing to consider thoroughly the step you propose to take. The exact nature of our Institution being unknown to you, we deem it advisable that you should be informed on certain points, the knowledge of which may affect your decision to apply for membership.
Freemasonry interferes neither with religion nor politics, but has for its foundation the great basic principles of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. No Atheist can be a Freemason.
Freemasonry strives to teach a man the duty he owes to God, his neighbor, and himself. It inculcates the practice of virtue, and makes an extensive use of symbolism in its teachings.
It cannot be too strongly emphasized that Freemasonry is not to be entered in the hope of personal gain or advancement. Admission must not be sought from mercenary or other unworthy motives. Any one so actuated will be bitterly disappointed. The aim of the true Freemason is to cultivate a brotherly feeling among men, and to help whomsoever he can.
Freemasonry is not a Benefit Society. This fact cannot be too strongly emphasized. We do not subscribe so much a year to entitle us to draw sick pay or other benefits, or to make provision for those who survive us. There are other excellent Societies founded for this purpose. No man should enter the ranks of Freemasonry in hope or expectation that he will derive any financial benefit from it. Masonic Charity is directed towards those who, from unforeseen circumstances and through no fault of their own, have met with misfortune.
Loyalty to one’s country is an essential qualification in Freemasonry, and only those are acceptable who cheerfully render obedience to every lawful authority. Disloyalty in any form is abhorrent to a Freemason, and is regarded as a serious Masonic offense.
Freemasonry has in all ages insisted that men should come to its doors entirely of their own free will, and not as a result of solicitations, or from feelings of curiosity, but simply from a favorable opinion of the Institution, and a desire to be ranked among its members.
We have no authority at the present time to give you further information regarding the Brotherhood you propose to join, but we have imparted sufficient to enable you to conclude that Freemasonry is not contrary to the principles which mark a man of upright heart and mind, and has in it nothing inconsistent with one’s civil, moral or religious duties.
We think it advisable to inform you that your admission to our Craft will entail certain financial obligations which you should be able to discharge without detriment to yourself or those dependent on you. In addition to the fees and contributions payable on your entrance, there will be an annual subscription for the support of your Lodge, and from time to time you may be called upon to contribute for the relief work connected with the Craft.