WHO WE ARE
Freemasonry is the oldest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. Masons share one common goal: to help each other become better men. We strengthen and improve our character by learning and practicing basic virtues of fraternal love, charity, and truth. Our principles extend far beyond our interactions with each other, and we strive to apply them to our daily lives.
Symbolically, the Craft dates back to the days of Solomon and his building of the first temple in Jerusalem. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, circa 1425. The illustrious roots of the organization date to when its members were operative Masons who built castles and cathedrals throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. The foundation of the ritual is based on the story of the building of King Solomon’s Temple. It incorporates metaphors with symbolic meaning from architecture, engineering, masonry and construction. It uses the signs and words developed by the Masonic guilds as methods of recognition and the language evolved from a number of sources.
All who join Freemasonry must declare their belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, and practice their own personal faith, but the fraternity is neither a religion nor a place to worship. Rather, it is a place where men of all monotheistic creeds can meet and focus on the great truths of peaceful human interaction that are common to all religions.
WHAT WE DO
Masonry teaches that each person has a responsibility to make things better in the world. Most individuals won’t be the ones to find a cure for cancer, or eliminate poverty, or help create world peace, but every man and woman and child can do something to help others and to make things a little better.
Masonry is deeply involved with helping people — it spends more than $1.4 million dollars every day in the United States, just to make life a little easier. And, the great majority of that help goes to people who are not Masons. Some of these charities are vast projects, like the Crippled Children’s Hospitals and Burn Institutes built by the Shriners. Also, Scottish Rite Masons maintain a nationwide network of over 100 Childhood Language Disorders Clinics, Centers, and Programs. Each helps children afflicted by such conditions as aphasia, dyslexia, stuttering, and related learning or speech disorders. Some services are less noticeable, like helping a widow pay her electric bill or buying coats and shoes for disadvantaged children. And there’s just about anything you can think of in-between. But with projects large or small, the Masons of a lodge try to help make the world a better place. The lodge gives them a way to combine with others to do even more good.
Masonry does things “inside” the individual Mason.
“Grow or die” is a great law of all nature. Most people feel a need for continued growth and development as individuals. They feel
they are not as honest or as charitable or as compassionate or as loving or as trusting as they ought to be. Masonry reminds its
members over and over again of the importance of these qualities. It lets men associate with other men of honor and integrity who
believe that things like honesty and compassion and love and trust are important. In some ways, Masonry is a support group for men
who are trying to make the right decisions. It’s easier to practice these virtues when you know that those around you think they are important, too, and won’t laugh at you. That’s a major reason that Masons enjoy being together.
Masons enjoy each other’s company.
It’s good to spend time with people you can trust completely, and most Masons find that in their lodge. While much of lodge activity is spent in works of charity or in lessons in self-development, much is also spent in fellowship. Lodges have picnics, camping trips, and many events for the whole family. Simply put, a lodge is a place to spend time with friends.