Part 2 of 3

Having friends wherever you go

Who becomes a Mason: accountants, businessmen, teachers, contractors professionals and laborers. Masons are good men from all walks of life and all levels of income. They represent every race, creed and culture.

In Masonry, it doesn’t matter whether a man is a bricklayer or a physician, a waiter or the mayor of a city. All are on equal footing in the Lodge room.

Ceremonies and practices of the Masons have remained unchanged for hundreds of years and teach lessons of honesty, integrity and charity. There is no hazing in any Masonic ceremony or degree. No matter where a Lodge is located, it’s members share the common bond of having passed through the same degree of work, rites, and rituals.

Because of this, members can find brother Masons wherever they go. There are Lodges in virtually every city and in most smaller communities throughout the free world. In Missouri alone, there are over 370 Lodges with approximately 50,000 members.

Committing yourself to a code of moral ethics

Freemasonry is built upon three basic tenets-Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

Brother Love is the practice of the Golden Rule. Relief embodies charity for all mankind. Truth is honesty, fair play and adherence to the cardinal virtues.

These moral lessons are taught during three ceremonies, or “degrees” through allegory and symbolism using the traditional stonemasons tools.

The First Degree uses the gavel and gauge to remind the new member to improve himself and to serve God and others. In the Secondary Degree, the square, level and plumb are used to reinforce the need to live uprightly in our relations with others. And in the Third Degree, the trowel and other tools encourage the candidate to live in harmony with one another.

After the Third Degree, members may move into other branches of Masonry such as the Scottish Rite, York Rite and Shrine.

Masonry is not a secret organization. However, because Masons value confidentiality and trust, many rites and rituals taught in the Masonic degrees remain secret, except to the membership.