WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest world wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. Although of a religious nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members, however, to be faithful and devoted to their own religious beliefs.
A common answer to the non-Freemasons question as to what order represents is that it is a “peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. The word “peculiar” is used to describe a distinguished code of morality in the life of Freemasons. The moral system being referred to is portrayed through Masonic ritual allegorically surrounding the circumstances of the erection of the great Temple of king Solomon some 3000 years ago.
The guiding principles of life set out in the Masonic code are explained and exemplified by the use, in a symbolic manner, of the tools of the stonemason’s craft.
The lessons of Freemasonry are based upon the Volume of the Sacred Law, whilst it is founded on the principles of the Brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God, and the acknowledgment of a Supreme Being. It has preserved the right of each individual soul to its own religious faith; it does not compete with any religion and holds itself aloof from all sects and creeds whilst it requires its members to tolerate, revere and respect, or at least regard with clarity, that which its fellows hold sacred.
Masonry does not divide men, it unites them, leaving every man free to think his own thought and fashion his own system of ultimate truth. All its emphasis rests upon two extremely simple and profound principles – love of God and love of man. Therefore all through the ages it has been, and is today, a meeting place of differing minds, and a prophecy of the final union of all reverent and devout souls.
Any man who becomes a Mason is taught a pattern for living; reverence, morality, kindness, honesty, dependability and compassion. He must be prepared to honour his country, uphold its laws and respect those in authority. He must be prepared to maintain honourable relations with others and be willing to share in Masonic activities.