What it is? What it does? Where it comes from? Who belongs? How you join? Well, we did, too. Who are we? We’re the men in Florida who are Masons; men just like you. Men who were also curious and wanted to know more. Like you, we knew that Masons did a lot of good things for people, and we knew that many prominent and respected men were Masons. Men like our fathers and grandfathers. But we wanted to know more about what Masonry really is. What it does. Why it attracts so many good men.
So — we asked! And we hope you will, too. But we want to share with you some of the things we learned about Masonry when we asked. They explain why we’re Masons. We hope this will clarify for you, what men as Masons truly are.
Masonry Is Friendship
Masonry is being a friend; sharing common interests; respecting one another and taking a personal interest in the well-being of others. It’s caring about the men with whom we are associated in the same way we care about our own family members. Masonry is a fraternity. We make friends — and we keep them!
Masonry Is Thought And Study
Our purpose is to help each other be better men. We’re serious about that. So, we learn about values and about how they apply to our daily lives. Values like honesty in business and in human relations, fairness in work, courtesy in society, compassion for the sick and unfortunate, forgiveness, love for our fellow humans and an abiding faith in God. And we hold ourselves responsible for practicing those values. Yes, it’s work. But it’s worth it. For you and for those who know you, it’s worth it!
Masonry Is Working And Sharing
We work to help our communities grow and prosper, and to take care of community needs. Working together in cooperation and harmony. Applying our own individual talents and skills to the task at hand. Sharing our time for the welfare of our community, state, and country. In Masonry, we really do celebrate the dignity of work and the joy of helping each other.
Masonry Is Responsibility
In a recent national survey, Masons were listed as the most trustworthy single group in America, with a large percentage of the survey agreeing with the statement, “You can trust a member of the Freemasons to deal with you honestly and fairly, no matter what.” That’s flattering, of course, but it’s also an awesome responsibility. We teach that there is no such thing as being “sort of honest,” or “generally truthful,” or “faithful when it’s important.” A man must be honest, truthful, and faithful. All the time. In business and in personal life. Since you can never know the final consequences of any act, you must take responsibility for every act.
Masonry is Generosity
Philosophy which does not find action in the world is meaningless. The test of a belief in helping peopleis whether people are helped. In America, Masons give nearly $2 million a day to help people. We help children in crisis. We have hospitals where crippled children are treated free of any charge —and those same hospitals are world-famous for their research in treating children’s orthopedic problems. We have burn centers where the most advanced treatments are available. We have clinics where children with language problems (the most common of all children’s diseases) are treated free of charge. We have programs to prevent blindness and to test children and senior citizens for vision problems. We fund research into mental illness. We work at building a better world for everyone.
Masonry Is Leadership
We are proud of the contributions Masonry has made to the world. Fifteen Presidents of the United States have been Masons, including George Washington. Eighteen Vice Presidents and five Chief Justices of the Supreme Court have also been Masons. There are many others. Musicians like Mozart and Irving Berlin. Statesmen like Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock. Actors like Ernest Borgnine. Sportsmen like Arnold Palmer. Religious Leaders like the Reverend Norman Vincent Peale and Joseph Fort Newton. Political Leaders like Senator Robert Dole, it’s a long list.
Masonry Is Tradition
We simply do not know how old Freemasonry is. The oldest Masonic document found so far has been dated by experts as written in the 1300′s. That document tells us that Masonry came into England in A.D. 920. From 1717 on, the history is easy to trace. But whenever it started, Masonry has a long tradition of supporting intellectual, political and religious freedom. And Masons like George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Paul Revere, Joseph Warren, and John Marshal made sure that the Masonic Traditions were written into the Constitution of the United States — to secure those same freedoms for everyone!
Masonry Is For Good Men
We do not ask individual men to join Masonry. Our rule is that men must ask us, instead. It’s not that we want to put roadblocks in their way. We believe that a man should seek to become a Mason because he really wants to — not because some friend pressured him into it. But we’re always ready to welcome good men into the Fraternity. And if you are a man who believes in honor and integrity, in the importance of individual responsibility and personal freedom, in fellowship and community service and in “fraternity,” then you may find as much joy and reward in Masonry as we do. And we welcome you to ask for information about membership.
An OPEN LETTER to any man wanting to become a Mason
Yes, we believe in some pretty “old-fashioned” things. We believe in the brotherhood of man. We believe in service to those who are less fortunate. We believe in helping young people get a head start in life. We believe in helping our neighbor. And we believe in God. Surprised? Some people are.
You see, Masons believe that the quality of a man’s life should reflect his faith in God and his ethical ideals. Our membership is open to all men, regardless of their religious convictions. We only require that you believe in God. It’s this unshakable faith that guides us in our service to others. So we provide homes for the elderly, college scholarships to promising young men and women. We contribute to blood banks, fund medical research, maintain hospitals and clinics, and do this and other things to meet individual needs. That’s why it’s not surprising that we’re the largest fraternity in the world. That’s why so many respected and renowned men have been and are members.
And if all of this surprises you, that’s good. Because, sometimes, we’re surprised at the wrong ideas people have about us. Some people will tell you that Masonry is a secret society. No. We have some “secret” ways of recognizing each other, but there is no secret about what we teach, believe in, and stand for. Get to know us better. We think you’ll like what you find.