Message To A Non-Mason
I am sure that many times you have asked yourself why you have not been asked to join the Masonic Fraternity. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some information that I hope will help you to understand Freemasonry better.
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest of over 700 different fraternal orders. We have over 3 1/2 million members worldwide with over 1 3/4 million members in the United States. In New Jersey, we have approximately 24,000 members in 120 Lodges.
Freemasonry, as we know it today, had its beginnings in England in the early 1700's and came to America with the early settlers. George Washington served as our first President and during this time, served as Master of his Lodge. Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were active Masons.
Our purpose in this message to you is not only to tell you about Freemasonry, our origin and our people, but also to clarify some misconceptions about membership:
- We are not a secret organization, ours is a well-known organization whose members wear emblems and meet in buildings with our emblems displayed. We publicize our meetings in the newspapers, T.V. stations, and radio stations.
- We are not a religious organization, but ours is an organization of religious men with our teachings coming to life from the pages of the Holy Bible.
- We are not a charitable organization, but ours is an organization of benevolent people, an organization that contributes over $450 Million dollars a year or $1.5 Million dollars a day to assist people in need and to alleviate the sufferings of mankind.
We attribute our success down through the years to the following:
- Our belief in the Fatherhood of God.
- Our belief in the Brotherhood of Man.
- Our method of membership selection.
We are anxious to clarify a misunderstanding concerning our method of membership selection. One of the reasons for our success is that we do not solicit our members, as do other organizations. Each of our members has come of their own free will and accord. They have sought out one of our members and asked for a petition for membership because they saw in that member character traits that they would like to emulate or pattern their lives after. There is no violation of Masonic Policy when a Mason tells a non-Mason that membership is predicated on a request to join and not on an invitation.
We are anxious to let you know that if you want to be a part of this truly great organization, it is very simple; JUST ASK YOUR MASON FRIEND to get you a petition for the degrees and then, with approval of members by ballot, you will receive the Degrees.
To be eligible for membership, you must have been a resident of your city or community for six months. We ask you three simple questions in our petition for membership:
- Do you believe in the existence of God?
- Do you believe in the immortality of the Soul?
- Do you believe in the resurrection of the body?
Once you have asked a friend for a petition for membership and have been accepted by ballot of members, you will receive the Blue Lodge Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Masters). Then you will be eligible to join appendant or allied Masonic Bodies like the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and the Shrine.
Likewise, you and your wife will then have the opportunity to join the Order of the Eastern Star on ballot of members. Masonic Bodies sponsor youth organizations known as the Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay for Boys.
Should you consider seeking membership in the Masonic Fraternity you must take the initiative and request of a friend, who is a Mason, a petition for the three degrees in Freemasonry.
Your Masonic Friend