Thursday, June 13, 2019

What is Masonry?

I am often asked to “explain” Freemasonry to those that wish to know more. Certainly, I have given the “standard” answer in a nutshell – A group of men set out to better themselves, each other, and their community – and for most, that seems to satisfy their curiosity. There are some that wish to know more, like the where and why, and to them, I usually give pamphlets and send them to the Grand Lodge web-site for more information. Then, there are Brothers, who seem to be confused as to who and what we are. It is for them, and myself, that I decided to try and explain who a Mason is, and what we do.

A Mason is a man that wishes to be a role model for moral and ethical behavior, not to one or two individuals, but to the communities in which he lives, works, and travels. He does this by his actions, his words, and his conduct in every situation. These things will set him apart from other men and show that he is someone that can be counted on.

Freemasons know that these things are not easily done – after all, we are only human – and that no one can accomplish these things by themselves. Each Mason needs the help and support of their Brethren. Thankfully, we, as a Fraternity, have Brethren all over the world, and each is willing to help one another.

Freemasonry teaches each of us, through allegory and symbols, a moral code to follow in each of the three degrees. Each degree builds upon the last, and sets forth the lessons for self improvement. Those lessons all have deep meanings, and, when applied to our daily lives, can alter not only the man, but his family and friends as well. These “secrets” are revealed to those that actively seek them out.

Freemasonry also helps builds a man’s confidence in himself, and his Brethren. Each time that there is ritual work in the Lodge room, he learns leadership, discipline, moral conduct, and ethics. He is on a LEVEL of equality with all of the members, as each of them is on the same journey. Ritual itself gives an opportunity to practice public speaking. While our ritual is beautiful, the trick is not only knowing the words, but also the meaning behind them.

Those that truly wish to learn, and better themselves, find that Masonry becomes a way of life. They learn that to succeed, they must first serve. They find that Faith, Hope, and Charity are gifts, and that they must repay them in kind, when they are able. Each Mason finds that in order to teach, you must constantly learn.

R:.W:. John R. Miller, District Deputy Grand Master

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